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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
Letter to the USCCB National Review Board
February 13, 2011
National Review Board
Dear National Review Board members:
After a detailed two year investigation, here's what impartial grand jurors in Philadelphia found.
The archdiocesan abuse system
The so-called "victims assistance coordinators"
In light of this information, and in light of many complaints from across the country about hurtful actions taken by diocesan employees against victims, we strongly urge you to launch an independent investigation into how diocesan staffers handle child sex abuse reports and victims.
There has been little or no real monitoring of whether bishops and their employees honor the pledges made eight years ago to treat victims with compassion and provide them with help. There have been only the slightest moves to see whether policies are in place. But written policies and actual behavior are two very different things.
We strongly suspect that the same horrific violations found by Philadelphia jurors are happening elsewhere.
Why do we believe this?
No Catholic hierarchy in America has had more incentive more recently to reform its handling of clergy sex cases than the Philadelphia archdiocese. But it clearly still hasn't.
So common sense suggests that other dioceses that have experienced even less controversy and scrutiny and criticism are treating victims as or more callously.
We urge you to bring in respected independent outsiders - with backgrounds in law enforcement and mental health - to look into whether and where other church staff members are severely mistreating already deeply wounded and still-struggling victims.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests