South American SNAP spokesman comments on new pope
Many bishops in Latin America have covered up and have denied having abuse in their countries. In Chile, the Fr. Karadima case has been one that has unveiled a secret kept by the Catholic hierarchy and that is repeated in many countries in Latin America.
In Chile there are 32 bishops and at least half of them have covered up abuse. Four of them belonged to Karadima's group and witnessed abuse and now deny it. Recently in Chile, a bishop had to resign for child abuse. Another emblematic priest, Cristián Precht, was charged with child abuse in several counts by the Vatican and the Archbishop of Santiago Ezzati gave him just 5 years of penitence and prayer. After the Karadima case people are astonished. They are still not taking it seriously.
It is very difficult in Latin America because of the culture of reverence to the Catholic Church and the power that it has in the region to go against it. In many countries, the Church is associated with the economic power groupsand it is very difficult to bring something up and not have it crushed by judges that are easily dominated by these groups.
There are reports of abuse in several Latin American countries but the power and control that the Church exercises there is so much that they are constantly crushed and denied.
We need a Pope that deals with the powerful and secretive bishops like the ones in Latin America and has the courage to confront them and let so many good priests take the reins of a ship that is sinking in the region.
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.