SNAP Hands Out Leaflets On Investigation Into Pastor Outside St. Alphonsus
By Nancy Harty
October 12, 2014
(CBS) — Priest sex abuse survivors leafleted outside a Catholic church on Chicago’s North Side Sunday to draw attention to an ongoing investigation, reports WBBM’s Nancy Harty.
Many parishioners at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Lakeview didn’t know about a Cook County Sheriff Department’s investigation into the parish’s pastor, according to Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests spokeswoman Kate Bochte.
“We’re here to clear the record that the investigation [into] Michael O’Connell, as far as the criminal investigation, is still open and ongoing,” Bochte said.
A handful of SNAP members passed out flyers outlining the sheriff’s investigation that began in December and ended in April after police were unable to support any charges. A review by the Archdiocese also failed to substantiate claims against O’Connell, so he was reinstated.
However, another man came forward in April to say he witnesses abuse of a child by O’Connell. The sheriff’s office has reopened its investigation.
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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.