SNAP responds to incomplete Boston predator priest list
Thanks to relentless pressure, and almost a decade after the first bishop posted the first list of pedophile priests, O'Malley belatedly and begrudgingly is making it a little easier for police, parishioners and the public to know who most of the Boston predator priests are.
Since he took years to compile this list, it should be perfect. But it's not. O'Malley is recklessly ignoring roughly one third of the child molesting clerics who live or work (or have lived or worked) in the Boston archdiocese. Why? Because these clerics technically report to other Catholic figures, not him. This is shameless hairsplitting.
This is an arbitrary and dangerous choice - concealing the child sex crimes of religious order priests, nuns and brothers in the Boston archdiocese.
This is about safeguarding innocent kids, comforting wounded adults and exposing unhealthy secrets. It's not about which individual Catholic official signs which individual Catholic predator's paycheck.
As we said earlier this month, O'Malley should have been the first Catholic official to make the identities of predator priests public. Instead, he's two years late on his own promise to do so, and nine years later than the first of his colleagues to do this. (Cardinal William Keeler of Baltimore, 11/02)
As we said in January, "It's been eight years since America's Catholic bishops promised to be "open and transparent" in child sex cases. It's been eight years since the first US bishop posted a list of predator priests on his website. And it's been two years since O'Malley, finally buckling to outside pressure, pledged to post his own list of child molesting clerics.
Like Cardinal Mahony in Los Angeles, O'Malley works very hard on burnishing his image as a "reformer" and carefully orchestrating public relations events that give the impression of change.
But he refuses, like most of his peers, to take tangible steps to truly safeguard the vulnerable or heal the wounded.
Symbolic gestures are great if you're a failing politician trying to "rally your base." But O'Malley is a smart shepherd. His flock contains thousands of vulnerable kids. His gestures do nothing to protect them. That takes real courage and decisive action, like identifying known child predators.
Remember that as recently as 2008, O'Malley was found by Catholic officials to be violating the US bishops' abuse policy by failing to provide abuse prevention training to Boston Catholic children. He broke this rule for five straight years.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world's oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We've been around for 23 years and have more than 10,000 members. Despite the word "priest" in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, firstname.lastname@example.org), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.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.
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.