UK- New Catholic archbishop of Liverpool is named, victims respond
For immediate release: Friday, March 21, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
We're somewhat optimistic that Bishop Malcolm McMahon will be a positive force of change for the Catholic Church.
On the BBC’s Hard Talk programme, McMahon said the Vatican response to the sex abuse crisis had been “too defensive”.
He also showed courage by saying it was “a big mistake” for the Pope’s preacher, Fr Raniero Cantalamessa, to compare the outcry over sex abuse with anti-Semitism.
He also admitted that the Church had been “wrong” in the 1922 document Crimen Sollicitationis (“Crime of Soliciting”) to say that allegations of sex abuse in the confessional should be kept out of the public domain.
It's important that we judge Catholic officials by their actions, not strictly by their words. But these comments lead us to believe that the Vatican could have made a worse choice for this important post than McMahon.
(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.