TX--Diocese of Ft. Worth hides documents--SNAP asks why?
For immediate release Thursday, January 11, 2018
Statement by Barbara Dorris, 314-503-0003, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org
We applaud the courage and the wisdom of this brave survivor. He came forward and reported these horrific crimes and had the wisdom to work with the civil justice system. We hope he will inspire others to come forward, despite the actions of the Diocese of Fort Worth.
The public and Ft. Worth Catholics should ask Bishop Michael Olson and his lawyers a very important question. They say in their statement regarding the lawsuit that there is no objective evidence to substantiate Mr. Montgomery’s allegations of abuse. Yet, at the same time, the diocese asked the judge to seal all documentation in this case. Why? What do they want to hide? Jason Montgomery wants nothing but the truth. The Diocese of Ft. Worth wants nothing but to keep court records and evidence secret. Catholics have a right to know why.
It is time for Texas to reform its laws. In states such as California, evidence in civil child sex abuse cases must be made public so that victims have equal footing in the courts and that institutions that cover up abuse can be held accountable to the public they serve. Any time evidence of abuse is sealed, children are put at risk of further abuse. If the Diocese of Ft. Worth stood by its promises of transparency and Christianity, it would ask the court to lift the seal and release any and all evidence of child sexual abuse and cover-up in the diocese. They should do this in the name of public safety. Anything else is lip service.
(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 members. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Melanie Sakoda 925-708-6175 firstname.lastname@example.org, Joelle Casteix 949-322-7434, email@example.com, or Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP Executive Director (314-503-0003, bdorris@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.