TX- Corpus Christi priest is acquitted
For immediate release: Thursday, June 19, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
A Corpus Christi priest has been acquitted on charges of assaulting an altar boy.
We suspect there's more to this case than has been revealed. We also suspect that some have seen, suspected or suffered wrongdoing by Rev. Patrick Serna. If so, we hope that they find the courage and strength to speak up, get help, expose misdeeds and protect others.
We have little faith in so-called “church investigations” into alleged clergy crimes and misconduct. And it should be remembered that in criminal matters, the bar is high for a conviction. Accused priests often get expensive, top-notch defense lawyers.
We are grateful that this family sought justice in court. We hope more of the truth about this situation surfaces soon.
(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 18,000 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.
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.