CA - SNAP responds to punishments for Bishop Curry and Cardinal Mahony
Bishop Thomas Curry stepping down is a small, belated step in the right direction, though it's obviously only being done because the horrific extent of his complicity is about to become publicly known. He should have been fired long ago.
Several bishops across the globe have stepped down when their reckless, callous and deceitful actions in clergy sex cases has become known. It should happen far more often. But it would be much more powerful if the Pope and other high ranking church officials would actually force their corrupt colleagues out.
Hand-slapping Mahony is a nearly meaningless gesture. When he had real power, and abused it horribly, he should have been demoted or disciplined by the church hierarchy, in Rome and in the US. But not a single Catholic cleric anywhere had the courage to even denounce him. Shame on them.
The lesson here for Catholic staff is clear: if you successfully conceal your wrongdoing, you can keep your job. If, however, you fail, there's an extraordinarily slim chance you might experience some slight consequences. The bottom line: this will make some LA Catholics feel better for now. But in the big picture, it really won't discourage a single Catholic employee from acting irresponsibly.
Statement by Los Angeles SNAP leader Esther Hatfield of Huntington Beach CA
The posting of this information by LA Catholic officials is a public relations gambit to divert attention from years and years of deception about pedophile priests and children’s safety. They’ll posture as "transparent." But that will be a desperate and laughable ruse.
In truth, LA church officials – including Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop Jose Gomez, Bishop Thomas Curry and others - have relentlessly and expensively and successfully fought for years to keep these horrific secrets secret.
It's ludicrous for Mahony, Gomez and Curry to claim to be "forthcoming" with records they've successfully kept hidden for decades, using millions of dollars from generous parishioners to pay high prices lawyers to obstruct disclosures.
We hope citizens and Catholics will read these records. We especially hope that they will seek out independent, user-friendly sources, like BishopAccountability.org (where the documents will be posted in a user-friendly way, with tabs and the ability to find specific quotations, cases, concerns, etc.)
And we hope we won’t see headlines like “Archdiocese releases records.” That suggests this is a voluntary move. And that’s wrong. Headlines should read, and Catholics and citizens should understand, that “Years late, victims force Catholic hierarchy to disgorge records.”
LA citizens and Catholics should be very grateful to the extraordinarily brave victims whose compassion for the vulnerable and insistence on the truth have made this historic day possible.
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.