MA- Victims "diss" new Springfield bishop's abuse remarks
For immediate release Thursday, July 19, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of SNAP (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
We take strong issue with comments on abuse made by the new head of the Springfield diocese.
For several years, Bishop Rozanski has been on the US bishops abuse committee. That body has been virtually worthless. It has done little or nothing about the absolute bare minimum and has focused far more on public relations than abuse prevention.
He claims that being on the panel “has taught me first of all about the importance of reaching out to victims and survivors acknowledging their pain.”
This is disingenuous. Bishops keep pretending that they didn't “understand” abuse until recently and that their carefully crafted cover ups were somehow well-intentioned “mistakes” when they were deliberate decisions to protect church officials instead of innocent children.
We hope Bishop Rozanski proves us wrong by promptly posting not just names, but photos, whereabouts and work histories of every child molesting cleric who is or has been in his diocese – whether living or dead, whether diocesan or religious order, whether proven, admitted or credibly accused.
If he's learned about “the importance of reaching out to victims,” we urge him to go, this weekend, to every parish where Fr. Charles J. Sullivan worked, and beg victims, witnesses and whistle blowers to contact police.
Fr. Sullivan was publicly accused three years ago, the allegations were deemed credible, and church officials said he would live a “life of prayer and penance.” But according to Bishop Accountability.org, his whereabouts are unknown. So he's likely living among unsuspecting neighbors, perhaps volunteering at a school chess club in the afternoons or babysitting his relatives kids in the evening. It's possible he might be criminally charged, convicted and imprisoned, if the bishop would show – by his deeds, not his words – that he does indeed “understand the importance of outreach.”
(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 25 years and have more than 20,000 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)
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.