SNAP responds: Bishop Zubik should step down
For immediate release: Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Statement by Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Leader, email@example.com, 636-433-2511
In the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary Pittsburgh's top Catholic official claims "There was no cover up going on" of child sex crimes.
Catholics should stop donating to Bishop Zubik's diocese until he steps down or takes proven steps that protect kids. Such a boycott may be the best way to cut through the persistent denial of Pittsburgh's church hierarchy
Two years of hard work by dozens of independent, trained law enforcement officials and unbiased grand jurors found that
-- Priests were raping little boys and girls and (bishops) hid it all. For decades.
-- (Bishops) followed a playbook for concealing the truth
The state's top law enforcement official, Josh Shapiro, said
-- "in some cases, the cover up stretched all the way up to the Vatican."
-- (Bishops) protected their institution at all costs."
Virtually every other governmental inquiry into Catholic scandals across the world has reached almost the exact conclusions. Most other US bishops have admitted, at some level, in vague terms, that cover ups have happened. (We're firmly convinced that cover ups are going on now.) In this sense, the Grand Jury report calls out Zubik. According the the Attorney General Shapiro:
“If you look at the documents contained in the church’s own secret archives that then-Bishop Wuerl and Bishop Zubik had access to, uniquely had access to, it is clear that the cover-up occurred in the Pittsburgh Diocese along with every other diocese in Pennsylvania. The abuse occurred and it was enabled by this cover-up,” the attorney general said.We urge western Pennsylvania church-goers to give more generously than ever, but to quasi-independent entities like Catholic Charities, with boards of directors less apt to ignore, hide or enable child sex crimes. They should contribute to agencies that won't help these church authorities who value reputation over the safety of children. There needs to be an alternative to keep paying lawyers and public relations people to hide and twist the truth.If those in church hierarchy can't even admit wrongdoing, they very likely won't stop wrongdoing. They can't even begin to be part of any solution if they refuses to see there's a problem.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, is the world's oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact - Tim Lennon (415-312-5820, tlennon@SNAPnetwork.org); Judy Jones (636-433-2511, firstname.lastname@example.org), Becky Ianni (703-801-6044, email@example.com)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.