TX--Victims urge church outreach in abuse case
For immediate release: Tuesday, July 26, 2016
A Ft. Worth Catholic volunteer is being investigated on three child sex abuse reports. Ft. Worth’s bishop must go to that church this weekend and aggressively prod anyone with information or suspicions to call police.
It’s not enough for church employees to claim they’re “cooperating with authorities.” (In our experience, that usually means they’re doing the bare minimum to avoid being charged with obstruction of justice.) Catholic officials gave this volunteer access to kids. So they owe it to parents, parishioners, police, prosecutors and the public to use their vast resources to actively help law enforcement solve this case and to find and help others who may have been hurt by this volunteer.
Specifically, we call on Bishop Michael Olsen to personally visit St. John the Apostle parish this weekend (and any other church where the volunteer may have been) begging victims, witnesses or whistleblowers to call police. He should also put announcements in church bulletins, parish websites and other diocesan publications and outlets.
No matter what lawmakers or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has 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.