TX - Victims “not optimistic” about new TX bishop
For immediate release: Thursday, December 12, 2013
The Vatican has named Msgr. Michael J. Sis, 53, vicar general of the Diocese of Austin, Texas, as bishop of San Angelo, Texas.
We wish Bishop Sis well. But we are not optimistic about his promotion. As Austin’s vicar general, we strongly suspect he helped conceal clergy sex crimes, as most Catholic vicar generals do.
We hope that Bishop Sis will immediately post on the San Angelo diocesan website the names, photos, whereabouts and work histories of every proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting cleric who lives or worst (or has lived or worked ) in the diocese. Roughly 30 US bishops have done this. It’s the quickest way to protect kids.
We also hope he visits every parish where Fr. Miguel Esquivel worked, begging those with information or suspicions about this crimes to call law enforcement. We believe Fr. Esquivel belongs behind bars and might get there if Bishop Sis uses his bully pulpit and diocesan resources to aggressively seek out others who were hurt by him.
Finally, it’s always tempting to give a new bishop the benefit of the doubt. We hope, however, that victims, witnesses and whistleblowers don’t do this. We hope that instead they report any known or suspected clergy sex crimes or cover ups to secular authorities, not church authorities. That’s the best way to safeguard kids from predators.
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.