The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
to Rudy Giuliani
January 25, 2008
We’ve repeatedly asked you to fire your friend, Msgr. Alan Placa. We have asked, and others have asked, that you squarely and honestly address the serious allegations against him: that he molested three kids and that he helped dozens of other predatory priests conceal their crimes.
You’ve ignored those requests. Yet we hope that you will at least agree with us on one point: Placa should never be on the public payroll.
He's been accused of molesting kids. He's also been accused of helping to cover up the crimes of other child molesting clergy. These aren't anonymous accusations from questionable sources. They come from impartial grand jurors, professional prosecutors, and at least three victims who have testified under oath about the abuse they suffered. (One of them, Richard Tollner, has identified himself publicly and repeatedly discussed his experiences in interviews.)
The charges are credible and serious enough that Placa’s own bishop has suspended him and forbidden him to work as a priest or publicly present himself as a priest for five years now.
Both you and Msgr. Placa have had five years to explain how all of these people – the victims, the prosecutors, the grand jurors, and the dozens of reputable journalists who have examined the grand jury report – might be so terribly mistaken. Both you and Msgr. Placa have had five years to produce one scintilla of evidence that might help exonerate Placa or cast doubt on his accusers. Both you and Msgr. Placa have had five years to take legal action against all those who have allegedly ‘falsely accused’ Placa.
You're obviously busy now, running for the Republican presidential nomination. But, if you honestly feel Placa's innocent, you should publicly explain why you failed to take any of these steps at any point over the past five years, when presumably the prosecutors' wrongdoing was fresh in your mind, when you had more time, and when you theoretically could have spared your friend years of agony and perhaps gotten him returned to ministry. You might have even spared other innocent Long Island citizens who might have been 'falsely accused' by their prosecutor. Yet you did nothing. And Placa did nothing.
Instead, you have repeatedly (but vaguely and briefly) professed Placa’s innocence and given him a job. By doing so, you continue to rub more salt into the already deep and still fresh wounds of his victims. And you continue to give Placa the veneer of respectability that could allow him to gain access to and molest more kids.
We ask now that, at a bare minimum, you promise that, if elected, you will not give this dangerous man a government job (and the status and authority that comes with one). Robbers often use guns and ski masks to get into banks and steal money. Child molesters often use their jobs to get into families and steal their children’s innocence. We ask that you not enable Placa to do this while on the public’s payroll.
Finally, we again appeal to you to confront the charges against your pal directly. Instead of dismissing the serious allegations against Placa in a vague sentence or two, address them head-on. Specifically address the cover up charges, not just the molestation charges. Explain precisely why you believe that he's innocent. (Having known him a long time is no explanation.) Enlighten us as to why Placa's bishop (who knows better than anyone what Placa has done) has suspended him and kept him on suspension for five years now.
You were raised Catholic. We were raised Catholic. All of us were taught that it's morally wrong to stay silent in the face of wrongdoing or to facilitate wrongdoing. You've essentially stayed silent for five years now (offering nothing beyond an occasional “Alan’s my friend; I believe him”). At least, we beg you, publicly pledge that you’ll keep him off the government’s payroll if you are elected president.
Barbara Dorris firstname.lastname@example.org
David Clohessy email@example.com
Barbara Blaine firstname.lastname@example.org
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests