Texas Rangers Raid Diocesan Offices in Houston, SNAP Responds
We applaud Texas law enforcement officials for raiding the “secret archives” of the Houston Catholic archdiocese. All too often, police and prosecutors pursue child molesting clerics but ignore the church supervisors and co-workers who hide their crimes.
Today’s raid was in response to the handling of the Fr. Manual LaRosa-Lopez case by Houston church officials. Perhaps if Cardinal Daniel DiNardo had reported the allegations against Fr. LaRosa-Lopez to law enforcement when he first heard of them this raid would not have been necessary. We cannot help but wonder what will be revealed in these secret files, but are glad that the Montgomery County prosecutor’s office will now have new information to work from.
This case reminds us of that of Fr. Gerald Robinson in Toledo. Ohio police investigators arrested Fr. Robinson and asked diocesan staff for his personnel file. They were given three pages. Later, they executed two “no knock” search warrants on the diocese. They recovered hundreds and hundreds of pages of records, documents that had never been turned over to the police. Those hidden records led to Fr. Robinson's conviction.
Institutions cannot police themselves and it is only through strong action from law enforcement that the full truth of their scandals can be revealed. We applaud the move and hope that it will inspire others who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups in Texas to make a report to law enforcement officials immediately.
CONTACT: Michael D. Norris, SNAP Houston (firstname.lastname@example.org, 713-855-9178)
(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.