The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
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Sex Abuse Victims To Cardinal: Keep Your Promises
Group Calls For Prompt Action and Real Outreach From Archdiocese
The Detroit chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests is calling Archbishop Adam Cardinal Maida to stick to his word regarding abusive clergy.
Maida recently promised that the Church will "do all we can to protect children and young people." His Review Board recently said that accusations of sexual abuse by clergy are being "handled in a timely and sensitive fashion." These promises need to be kept.
Statement by Bill McAlary, spokesman for SNAP Metro Detroit:
The removal of Fr Richard Kelly from Active ministry leaves us with questions that deserve honest answers.
If the Archdiocese knew about accusations of sexual abuse of a minor by Fr Richard Kelly before December 9, 2003, why did they wait until the end of February to remove him from active ministry? All of those weeks, children may have been at risk.
We do not consider waiting several weeks to remove a potential child sexual offender to be "timely and sensitive" behavior. Clearly, there is more that the Archdiocese can do to "protect children and young people."
There is no excuse for not promptly removing from active ministry any priests or church employee accused of sexually abusing a minor. In other areas of society, allegations of sexual assault, abuse or misconduct are, for the most part, taken very seriously. If it is a teacher, a coach, or even a police officer, the accused are promptly suspended pending investigation. Parents should expect nothing less just because the accused is a priest or church employee.
We are calling on Detroit area Catholics to demand more openness and quick action from the Archdiocese of Detroit when dealing with sexual abuse, especially of minors.
Today, we are calling on Detroit Archbishop Adam Cardinal Maida to:
- be open about whether Fr. Richard Kelly and other clergy have
been treated in the past for sexual abuse.
The safety of kids should be the number one priority of the Church and the faithful.
We encourage all victims of clergy abuse or abuse by a church employee to report these crimes to the authorities regardless of how long ago they occurred and we invite you to attend local SNAP support group meetings.
Finally, we wish to convey our deep symathies to parishioners at
St. Thomas a'Becket, which has apparently had two molesters work
there. (Fr. Harry Benjamin, who is serving a one-year sentence for
abusing a Canton boy from in the 1980s, was the first.) We know
all too well the feelings of hurt, confusion and betrayal many of
them must feel now.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests