Switzerland--More than 150 Swiss priests accused of abuse; SNAP responds
For immediate release: Tuesday, May 26
Over the past five years, only about 20 criminal cases have been opened against Swiss Catholic priests and monks for sexual abuse in Switzerland since, despite church officials admitting 172 alleged offenders.
Both figures, we suspect, are and should be much higher. We believe Catholic figures are hiding the identities, crimes and whereabouts about hundreds of proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting priests, nuns, bishops, seminarians, brothers and other church employees.
And frankly, we do not believe Bishop Charles Morerod of Lausanne, Geneva and Fribourg who claims that “every accusation made against a living priest or a lay person who works for the church will be handed over to the justice authorities immediately.” Time and time again, we’ve heard these pledges by Catholic officials and time and time again we’ve seen them broken.
We urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups by Swiss Catholic officials to contact secular authorities – not church staff – and expose wrongdoers, protect kids, and start healing.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has 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)
Few priests prosecuted for sexual abuse
MAY 26, 2015 - 12:16
Only around 20 criminal cases have been opened against priests and Catholic monks for sexual abuse in Switzerland since 2010, despite the church catching 172 alleged offenders.
Many of the recorded cases date back to the 1950s and some suspects have therefore died. However, that is not the only reason for the discrepancy – other suspects simply could not be tracked down, the Swiss Bishops Conference told the Swiss News Agency.
Joseph Bonnemain, secretary of the conference’s special commission on sexual abuse within the church, said . . .
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.