Letters List


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Letter

Letters to Pope & Sacramento bishop re: admitted predator priest still in ministry now

Oct. 26, 2010

Dear Pope Benedict:

Fr. Antonio Pinal molested me during my childhood. Without going into detail, you must understand that I have suffered tremendously. And I have done what I can to protect others from Fr. Pinal.

But I have found evidence that he is now in the Diocese of Cuernavaca, still working as a priest. I am pleading with you - please get this man out of his church and away from youngsters.

Police and prosecutors here in California were pursuing criminal charges against Pinal. They have said, in news articles, that Pinal basically admitted his guilt. He was almost certainly going to be convicted and jailed. But a US Supreme Court ruling stopped this process. And now, despite your promises to "do everything possible" to stop crimes like these, Pinal is working in a Mexican church. I doubt very much if the parishioners there know about his past.

I've been silent too long. I filed a lawsuit in July, hoping to expose Pinal's crimes to the public. Then, I was John Doe. But I have nothing to hide. So today I am disclosing my name publicly, in the hopes that it might help one other man or woman who was hurt like I've been hurt.

Pope Benedict, I need to hear from you. Pinal needs to be removed. And children need to be safeguarded.

Ricardo Torres

Oct. 26, 2010

Dear Bishop Soto:

We know Fr. Pinal no long lives and works in your diocese. We know you can't defrock him (only the Vatican can). We know you can't order that he be suspended from active parish ministry (only Pinal's bishop can).

But we also know these crucial facts:
--Pinal essentially admitted molesting a child.
--Predators rarely stop molesting.
--It's likely he would be locked up had your predecessors acted responsibly and disclosed their suspicions and information about Pinal to law enforcement.

Most important, we know that usually "where there's a will, there's a way." We know you can, and believe you should, do more to
--warn unsuspecting families about him,
--inform Mexican law enforcement about him, and
--protect vulnerable children from him.

We know that you can also lobby Vatican officials, including the Pope, to insist that this dangerous child molesting cleric be ousted from his parish and kept away from children.

We beg you, for the safety of innocent children and the healing of wounded adults, to take these steps immediately. Write the Pope and prod him to at least suspend Pinal. Write Pinal's boss, the bishop in Mexico, and prod him to remove Pinal from ministry. Write Mexican law enforcement and make sure they know about Pinal what you know about Pinal. Put notices in all your parish bulletins, on your diocesan website, on your church websites, saying "An admitted predator priest from Sacramento walks free now in Mexico and belongs behind bars. If you saw, suspected or suffered Pinal's crimes, please get help, call police, protect children and start recovering." Personally go to each parish where Pinal ever worked, even briefly, and beg victims and witnesses to speak up.

(If you've done any of these steps in the past, please do them again. Please continue taking action until Pinal is removed and families are warned.)

This isn't rocket science, Bishop Soto. It's the bare minimum a truly compassionate shepherd would take to help reduce the chances that another boy or girl will be sexually assaulted by a Catholic priest.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

David Clohessy
Executive Director, SNAP
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
7234 Arsenal Street
St. Louis MO 63143
314 566 9790 cell

Barbara Blaine
President, SNAP
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
PO Box 6416
Chicago IL 60680
312 399 4747

Barbara Dorris
Outreach Coordinator, SNAP
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
6245 Westminster
St. Louis MO 63130
314 862 7688, 314 503 0003

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests