The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
to San Francisco Bishop
December 22, 2004
Bishop William Levada
Delivered Via Fax
Dear Bishop Levada:
According to statements made by a high ranking San Francisco archdiocesan official printed in the San Jose Mercury News (12/12/04), your archdiocese is housing at least 17 priests suspended for the sexual abuse of minors.
SNAP strongly urges you to release the names and whereabouts of these potentially dangerous men so that parishioners, parents, and vulnerable children and adolescents can take steps to avoid these sexual offenders.
Moreover, SNAP urges you to use the authority of your office to conduct immediate outreach into the communities where these men are or have been housed so that parents can be warned and can take steps to determine whether or not their children have been touched or otherwise inappropriately impacted by any of these men.
Finally, we believe you have a civic duty to publicly, emphatically but sensitively urge anyone who witnessed, suspected or experienced abuse by these men to report promptly such to law enforcement. No matter what housing arrangements you make, children are safest when molesters are behind bars. You owe it to kids still at risk to take aggressive steps to help police and prosecute charge these men.
Secrecy is a dangerous trait, especially regarding the hiding of priests credibly accused of child sexual abuse.
You owe it not only to your flock, but to all citizens of San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo Counties to reveal the details and circumstances of who these men are, where they're being housed and the nature of their past crimes.
We sincerely hope you have learned from the tragedies that so many of us still suffer from today. We hope you will disregard the failed policies of the past - handling criminals "in house," keeping their names secret, putting kids in harm's way; and forge a new path toward genuine healing for those who are hurting and effective prevention for those who are vulnerable
cc: Voice of the Faithful Steering Committee
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests