South Carolina Bishop Delays the Release of Information Regarding Accused Priests, SNAP Responds
The Diocese of Charleston, which covers the entire state of South Carolina, is delaying the release of information regarding priests that have been accused of abuse.
We believe that every day a predator’s name remains hidden, victims continue to suffer and children remain at risk. Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone can and should immediately reveal, today, those priests who have already been deemed “credibly accused” of hurting children. Then, days, weeks, months, or even years later, he can add to that list. That is what a loving and caring shepherd would do to protect his flock.
Secrecy is a criminal’s best friend. It gives those who commit or conceal child sex crimes ample time to intimidate victims, threaten witnesses, discredit whistle blowers, destroy documents and flee the area, sometimes even overseas. Given everything that the world has learned about clergy sex abuse and cover-ups in the past six months, especially the revelations that bishops continue to carefully curate lists and keep the names of the accused hidden, we would think that Church officials in South Carolina would be stepping all over themselves trying to demonstrate their "transparency" to parishioners and the public.
We beg anyone with information or suspicions of child sex crimes in South Carolina to call the independent professionals in law enforcement and make a report. We also urge all concerned citizens in the state to press their attorney general to institute an investigation into clergy sex abuse and cover-ups in the state. Finally, we hope that parishioners in South Carolina will start demanding the openness and transparency from their Bishop that is critical to helping survivors heal as well as preventing future cases of abuse and keeping today's children safe.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
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.