UK - SNAP calls for action in the Cardinal O'Brien situation
We are grateful that Vatican officials have confirmed that "the Pope is informed about the (O'Brien) problem and the question is now in his hands." We implore Pope Benedict to take firm, clear and prompt action.
Pope Benedict accepting O'Brien's retirement would be a weak cop out. It would show that within the church hierarchy, there's still more sympathy for the victimizers than for the victims.
There are now 116 electors. None of them are indispensable. If men like O'Brien and Mahony and Brady love the church, they should stay home. But even if they do, a papal punishment is still in order. Youngsters are safe when those who commit or conceal abuses are publicly punished, not when they're allowed to quietly and voluntarily step aside.
By skipping mass, avoiding interviews and apparently hiring a lawyer, even though he faces no lawsuits - O'Brien is acting like he's guilty. (We can't immediately recall a single instance in which a cleric has faced four accusers and eventually been found not guilty of sexual misconduct.)
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.