TX--Victims express doubts about new Austin bishop
We’re worried about Austin’s new Catholic auxiliary bishop and how he’ll deal with the church’s on-going clergy sex abuse and cover up crisis.
Bishop Daniel Garcia graduated from one of the most troubling Catholic institutions in the US – St. John’s in Collegeville Minnesota. According to a website called Behind the Pine Curtain, 50 monks and ten other members of Saint John’s are proven, admitted or credibly accused offenders who have sexually violated kids, teens or vulnerable adults.
And for several years, he’s been a diocesan “insider” – a member of the priests’ personnel board since 2011 and vicar general for almost a year. Yet we’ve seen no improvement in how Austin Catholic officials deal with abuse in that time.
Roughly 30 US bishops have posted predator priests’ names on their website. Austin Catholic officials refuse. (There are at least six publicly accused Austin area predator priests. They include Fr. Dan Clogan, Fr. Dan Delaney, Fr. Daniel Michael Drinan, Fr. C. Richard Nowrey, Fr. James O'Connor, and Fr. Lonnie C. Reyes. We strongly suspect there are far more child molesting clerics who live or work – or have lived and worked – in the Austin diocese but who remain “under the radar.”)
Often, parents, parishioners, police, prosecutors and the public give new church figures the benefit of the doubt. We hope this doesn’t happen in Austin. Complacency protect no one. Only vigilance prevents abuse and cover ups.
We urge Austin citizens and Catholics to continue to share what they know or suspect about clergy sex crimes and cover ups to secular officials, not church figures.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 and have 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)
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.
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.