SNAP Delivers Letter to Papal Nuncio in Advance of February Summit
Leaders from the nation’s oldest and largest advocacy group for victims of clergy and institutional sex abuse delivered a letter today to the papal nuncio, asking for Pope Francis to take five specific actions at his summit in February and requesting a meeting with Pope Francis.
Representatives from SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, delivered the letter today which outlines specific actions that they are asking the Pope to take at the papal abuse summit to be held in Rome from February 21 to 24. They are also asking for a meeting to explain why these requested actions will not only help survivors heal but also protect children by preventing future cases of abuse from happening in the first place.
In their letter, the group calls for Pope Francis to:
- Fire any and all bishops or cardinals who have had a hand in clergy sex abuse cover-ups,
- Impose “dramatic and punitive consequences” to deter any future cover-ups,
- Eliminate any directive for church staff to report abuse to bishops and instead direct all church staff and officials to make reports to law enforcement, and
- Compel bishops around the world to turn their files over to law enforcement for independent investigations into their handling of clergy sex abuse cases, and
- Order your bishops and other hierarchs to cease lobbying efforts against legislative reform that would benefit survivors.
Leaders of the group are willing to meet with the Pope but only if he shows that he is taking the abuse crisis seriously by taking the actions above. In SNAP’s view, absent any decisive action on prelates who have helped keep cases of sexual violence hidden, the summit will be a failure.
“We are asking Pope Francis to demonstrate that he understands just how deeply this crisis is rooted and that to address it fully he must make examples of the men at the summit who have helped keep cases of clergy abuse hidden,” said Becky Ianni, SNAP Board Member and Treasurer and who delivered today’s letter. “We – and the rest of the world – are watching and waiting.”
CONTACT: Becky Ianni, SNAP Treasurer (email@example.com, 703-801-6044) Zach Hiner, Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-974-9009), Tim Lennon, SNAP President (email@example.com, 415-312-5820)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.