Survivors Respond: Cardinal McCarrick removed from ministry for allegation of sexual abuse
For immediate release, June 20, 2018, Tim Lennon, President, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), tlennon@SNAPnetwork.org, 415-312-5820
The former Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, has been removed from ministry in response to allegations he sexually abused a teen.
Cardinal McCarrick is well known to survivors as a person who protected the church hierarchy at the cost of children and minors. He lobbied against reforming the restrictive Statute of Limitation laws, opposed having priests report sexual abuse of children to the police, and criticized victims who delayed reporting because memories of their horrific trauma was repressed.
Sadly and tragically many victims of child sex abuse bury horrifying memories for years and decades, yet Church officials consistently oppose changing the Statutes of Limitation.
And shame on New Jersey Catholic officials who knew about but kept secret allegations that Cardinal McCarrick sexually assaulted adults and that settlements were paid out as a result. Vulnerable adults suffering from emotional distress and turmoil and seeking counsel from a trusted spiritual advisor can suffer serious harm when the clergyman violates professional boundaries.
The hierarchy needs to take action, not just wring their hands and accept resignations. They need to open the books, name all the clergy who have been convicted, admitted guilt or been credibly accused of sex crimes against children, minors, and vulnerable adults.
We encourage all who have been sexually abused to report to the police. It is never too late for abuse survivors to speak up, get justice, and expose wrongdoers.
(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), Becky Ianni (703-801-6044, firstname.lastname@example.org), Melanie Sakoda (925-708-6175, 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.