SNAP responds to archbishop’s newly-released deposition
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
Archbishop John Myers answers under oath are pathetic. He wants us to believe everyone and everything else is at fault, while he allegedly did nothing wrong.
He blames allegedly bad files, therapists, underlings, canon law (p. 188) and even buildings (page 34 & 145).
His memory of how others didn't act properly seems very clear. But his memory about his own wrongdoing suddenly gets very murky. (On page 35, for example, he can’t recall whether he ordered his staff to report suspected child sex crimes to authorities. Later, he can’t even recall whether he was on a bishops’ sex abuse committee in the 1990s.)
Over and over again he keeps claiming he does not recall reports of abuse, suspicions of abuse, what he did, what he did not do, or what year anything happened. (But corrected an attorney on what year Cardinal Ratzinger took over the CDF.)
In several letters Myers thanks Msgr. Maloney (a credibly accused child molester), thanking Maloney for gifts including "your much-loved camera," a silver object so big "it could be tied around one's neck like the proverbial 'millstone,’" gold coins and a monetary gift, which Myers says he will use to gamble on the dog races in Florida.
These gifts seem inappropriate and troubling. We hope Myers will explain why he took them.
We can’t help but wonder if Myers is still accepting expensive gifts from priests in New Jersey, including those who are admitted, proven or credibly accused child molesters. We hope Myers will explain whether he is indeed still taking expensive gifts.
There's a lesson in all of this: Bishops still cannot be trusted to 'come clean' about clergy sex crimes and cover ups, even now, and even under oath.
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.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
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.