The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
Letter to Tucson Bishop
October 31, 2004
Dear Bishop Kicanas:
We are disturbed by news reports that you are running for the presidency of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and respectfully urge you to reconsider.
The Tucson Diocese is still embroiled in a widespread and still-painful clergy sex abuse crisis and cover-up. Your unilateral and questionable bankruptcy claim will delay, for perhaps years and years, justice and healing for everyone concerned. In your brief tenure here, you have done little to distinguish yourself from your brother bishops, and taken no dramatic, positive steps that might warrant your elevation to higher office within the community of bishops. Given these factors, we believe you should not be seeking the presidency. Now is the time to focus on revealing the truth, healing the victims and protecting the children, not on self-aggrandizement and self-promotion.
We believe that your diocese's bankruptcy claim is unnecessary, deceptive, and may make other victims feel more discouraged, guilty and reluctant to report abuse. We are sad that you sought and won a restrictive, arbitrary, and unhealthy deadline by which victims must come forward to get help. We believe that your alleged goal in bankruptcy to make sure that all molestation victims are fairly compensated is, at best, disingenuous. Instead, we believe you sought bankruptcy protection for the same reason nearly everyone in bankruptcy does: because it suits your financial self-interest. Yet you profess to care most about victims, while setting a rigid deadline those victims must meet if they are to have even a chance at receiving some financial help.
For these reasons, we ask that you end your campaign to be chosen president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. It would be wiser and more compassionate of you to instead focus on healing wounded victims and preventing future abuse in your own diocese.
For the sake of healing, justice and prevention, we urge you to put your personal ambitions aside, and concentrate instead on healing those already wounded and safeguarding those still at risk.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests