US - An Open Letter to Pope Benedict XVI
What if you had the ability to undo egregious wrongs that affected hundreds of thousands of people worldwide would you, could you do it? What if there was only a sixteen day window for you to act? Would you find the time?
Pope Benedict XVI, you have just sixteen days to perform this wondrous task. You’ve heard all about the crimes. You’ve heard the pleas of survivors; they have haunted you since before you took the office of pope. They will haunt your legacy for eternity too if you pay no heed to this request. I’m begging you on behalf of survivors of clergy abuse and their families all around the world, set them free, hear the pleas, hear their suffering, take to heart their pain and publicize the global clergy abuse files regardless of the rank of the offending priest. Only you can alleviate the endless suffering of victims and their families by giving their suffering validity and naming their tormentors!
Whether you wanted it or not, God gave you the opportunity to change the church and put an end to the worldwide sexual abuse of children by priests and bishops. God has given you two opportunities, one as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and the second as Pope Benedict XVI to clean up this evil mess festering within His church. In both instances, you have not been up to the task. Now with just days left before the voluntary end of your papacy, you have yet a third chance. We implore you, to summon the courage before God and man to do what you swore to do in assuming your position as a priest, protect the flock.
A man of your intelligence knows beyond a shadow of a doubt about how the sexual abuse of children corrupts, has corrupted and has thrown the Catholic Church and your papacy into a tailspin. Now is the time to resurrect the church as a parting gift to the victims, the future of the church and to Jesus Christ who founded this church. It is your last chance to rectify the wrongs.
Throw open the doors and shine the light on the vermin that have been eating away at the foundations of Christianity for longer than we know. Let the light cleanse the church and heal the survivors. Open and make public all the records on clerical sexual abuse from around the world.
In 2002 your predecessor said, “There is no room in the church for priests who abuse children.” In 2008 before the Youth of the world, you said, “Victims should receive compassion and care, and those responsible for these evils must be brought to justice.” Your words as those of your predecessor ring hollow. You have never brought any of those responsible for these evils to justice. They still reside in your church like roaches behind the walls. You know it, we know it and the world knows.
Now is the time to act! At the end of the month after a new pope is elected it will be too late. He will say and do the same things that all the replacement bishops have said: That was my predecessor’s fault, I never knew things were that bad, and besides, that’s all in the past.
Pope Benedict XVI things are that bad for hundreds of thousands of victims worldwide. Having your body and soul ripped asunder to feed a priest’s lust does not end with the deed. It stays with you for life. You have the power to ease that pain. God Almighty is looking down at you and has given you yet a third opportunity to right the wrongs. Will you like Peter, deny him and all the victims in this world yet a third time?
I pray not.
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.