UK- Cardinal might be stripped of his title, victims respond
For immediate release: Monday, February 24, 2014
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those abused by Priests ((314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
A Scottish cardinal may face a Vatican trial, in which he could lose his cardinal title. We think this is long overdue.
Cardinal Keith O’Brien should lose his red hat. Simply being asked to step down and retire is not enough when sexual abuse allegations are found credible. At the very least, he should lose his title and ideally, he should be tried in a secular court. After all sexually abusing someone - of any age - is illegal.
Cardinal O’Brien was forced to stand down last year, after several priests and a former priest came forward with allegations that O’Brien sexually abused them. Now, three of the priests have asked the new head of the Scottish Catholic Church, Archbishop Leo Cushley, to pass on their complaints calling O’Brien a ‘sexual predator” to Rome. We applaud these brave priests for seeking justice.
Cushley stated that he will do everything he can “to help bring a just and equitable conclusion to the matter for all involved.” We hope that Cushley will stand by his words. Only the Vatican can discipline a cardinal, but Cushley can still reach out to any other victims. He can condemn the actions of O’Brien and all other abusive Catholic officials and those who protect them.
We hope that anyone who saw, suspects, or suffered sexual abuse by Catholic officials will take courage from the brave victims of O’Brien and make reports to law enforcement.
(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 15,000 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.