Survivors Network of
those Abused by Priests
to Bishops of Colorado
May 1, 2006
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap & Bishops of Colorado
Dear Catholic Bishops:
You have collectively spent tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands,
over the past few months trying to defeat sorely-need legislative designed
to prevent future abuse. This legislation would finally
-- protect kids by exposing their molesters and those who shield them,
-- prod employers to work harder to screen employees and stop future abuse,
-- force you and your colleagues to disclose, under oath and in open court,
how much you knew about yet how little you did about dangerously abusive
A sad and transparently disingenuous strategy in your expensive and deceptive
efforts to beat back this reform has been to try and divert attention
away from your own failings and on to the failings of others elsewhere.
You have repeatedly brought up the fact that some 85 public school teachers
in Colorado have been accused of child molestation, and have repeatedly
pretended to care about the well-being of public school students. (Never
mind the fact that none of you have ever proposed or backed any legislation
in the past that would safeguard Colorado children, in either public or
Today, we challenge you to "put up or shut up." We challenge
you to take one simple step toward protecting children, instead of many
expensive steps toward protecting yourselves.
We ask that you post on your diocesan web sites, in your diocesan newspapers,
and in your parish bulletins, the names of proven, admitted, and credibly
accused abusive Catholic Church employees and public school teachers.
If you truly care about the safety of Colorado's children, what possible
reason could you have for NOT publicizing the names of those public teachers
who have already been identified as molesters? And if you truly care about
the safety of Colorado's children, what possible reason could you have
for NOT publicizing the names of those public priests, nuns, brothers,
and seminarians who've already been identified as molesters?
You can publicly profess to be concerned for all of Colorado's children.
But this claim will continue to ring hollow unless and until it is evidenced
by tangible action.
In the past few months, at least four Colorado Catholic clerics have
been publicly accused of molesting kids: Brother William Mueller, Fr.
Leonard Abercrombie, Fr. Timothy Joseph Evans, and Fr. Harold Robert White.
Others who stand accused but who have received considerably less attention
include Fr. Neil Hewitt and Fr. David Holley. We've asked you before to
identify these and other potentially dangerous men, so that children may
be protected from them. You have refused.
But we're hoping that now, given your shameless profession of "concern"
for children, you'll reconsider. Otherwise, your claims will continue
to seem like just so much self-serving public relations.
Barbara Blaine of Chicago,
Jeb Barrett of Aurora
SNAP Denver Leader