Survivors Network of
those Abused by Priests
to Dominican Provincial, Father Izzo
Thursday, Nov. 7, 2007
141 East 65th Street
New York, NY 10021
Dear Father Izzo:
We are disappointed that you have done so little to protect others
from Fr. Aaron Cote and to reach out to others who've been hurt by
him. Now, our worst fears have been realized: there are new
allegations against Cote of child sex crimes that may have been
prevented if only you had acted.
Now, more than ever, we believe it is your moral and civic duty to do
this kind of inexpensive, effective and compassionate outreach. We
again beg you to use your considerable resources – your website,
parish bulletins, news releases and pulpit announcements – to alert
your flock in particular and Catholics in general that Cote
- has been credibly accused of molesting children,
- is being investigated by two police agencies,
- has been suspended and sued, and
- that one lawsuit against him settled for $1+ million.
More than five years ago, under the white-hot glare of international
media attention and parishioner outrage, America's Catholic bishops
pledged to be 'open and transparent' about child sex crimes and cover
ups. You should honor this promise.
In addition, irrespective of your decision regarding public warnings
and outreach about Cote, you can (and should) help in another way. We
ask that you force Cote to move to a secure, remote treatment
facility, so he can get help and so kids will be safer.
Church officials often claim they refuse to defrock predators because
then the church hierarchy can exercise some control over the
predators. That sounds great in theory. But we rarely see any such
control actually being exercised.
Here is a perfect chance for the Dominicans to show some leadership.
The Dominicans can tell Cote "Unless you get into a treatment
facility, we'll stop paying you and providing your health coverage,
dental insurance, car allowance, housing allowance, and we'll
aggressively beat the bushes to find and help your other victims call
the police and sue you."
Doing nothing is irresponsible, and knowingly, recklessly puts kids at
terrible risk, as the latest allegations against Cote show.
We look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.
Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP president 312 399 4747 cell,
David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP national director 314 566 9790 cell,