SNAP says that justice requires action, not delay
For immediate release, Sept. 10, 2018
Statement by Tim Lennon, President of SNAP, tlennon@SNAPnetwork.org, 415-312-5820
Archbishop Kurtz expressed concern and interest in change in response to today's activism by two-dozen Catholic sex abuse victims and other advocates.
We question why he didn't act to address sexual abuse in his archdiocese prior to this? We wonder why he needs to wait until next month to respond to demands for justice? Couldn't he simply list publicly all those who have been accused of abuse in his archdiocese?
The Archbishop noted that a “third party audit” found the Archdiocese in compliance. However, we believe that the six Pennsylvania dioceses investigated in the grand jury report were also found to have been "in compliance."
Despite this finding, before the grand jury investigation the public knew of ten predators in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania diocese. After the report came out we discovered that there were actually seventy! This **independent** investigation also called out all six diocese for the widespread sexual abuse of children and minors, as well as the systemic coverup of sexual abuse of children and minors by the Church officials.
What would a Pennsylvania-like investigation of the Louisville Archdiocese find? Every parishioner, every community member, should contact the Kentucky attorney general and demand, beg, and implore a similar independent grand jury in this state. We cannot simply trust the church hierarchy to tell us the truth or protect our children.
We encourage victims who are still suffering in silence and shame to come forward. We urge them to share their truth with a family member, a friend, a counselor, or with a support group like ours. They are not alone.
Those who have suffered abuse or who witnessed or suspect abuse should also contact police, no matter how long ago the abuse occurred happened.
Those who were abused in Pennsylvania, New York or New Jersey can also reach out to the hotlines set up by the attorneys general in those states:
New York: 800-771-7755
New Jersey: 855-363-6548
(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 supporters. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact - Tim Lennon (415-312-5820, tlennon@SNAPnetwork.org), Melanie Sakoda, (925) 708-6175, 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.
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.