The Diocese of Syracuse Releases a List of Accused Priests, SNAP Responds
For immediate release, December 3 2018
Today, the Diocese of Syracuse in New York released a list of 57 priests that had been accused of abuse. We are grateful church officials in Syracuse have taken this first step and we hope that they will continue to take action to prevent future cases of abuse and to bring justice for past cases.
Releasing these names to the public is something that Bishop Robert Cunningham could have done long ago and we cannot help but wonder if the reason he is taking this belated step now is because of investigations into clergy sexual abuse by both New York state and federal law enforcement officials. Still, regardless of his reasons, we are glad that Bishop Cunningham has publicized these names and are equally glad that the full facts of this crisis will be examined by New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood.
We believe that Bishop Cunningham should now publicize this list permanently on his diocesan website and run it at least quarterly in every parish bulletin. It should include every single proven, admitted and credibly accused church employee: bishops, priests, seminarians, brothers, nuns and lay people, no matter who supervised or ordained them, and no matter where they originated. In this list, Bishop Cunningham should also put by each name the date when the diocese first learned of the allegation against that priest, as well as the date the cleric was finally removed from ministry. It is important for accountability to find out who knew what, when they knew it, and what they chose to do with that information.
Finally, we encourage anyone who may have seen, suspected, or suffered abuse at the hands of church officials in Syracuse to contact law enforcement to make a report and not the Diocese directly. Anyone with information can aid the attorney general investigation in New York by calling 1-800-771-7755 or by making a report on their confidential reporting website.
(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.