VA- Richmond pastor owes victims an apology
For immediate release: Thursday, April 3, 2014
Statement by Becky Ianni of Virginia, SNAP Leader, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (703-801-6044, SNAPVirginia@cox.net)
We are grateful that Pastor G will not speak at the Good Friday Cedar Street Church service. Rev. Chandler, however, still owes child sex abuse victims, especially those hurt by Pastor G, a public apology. Inviting an indicted serial child molester to have a place of honor in a church is at best insensitive and at worst intimidating.
We are especially grateful to Roscoe Cooper III of Rising Mount Zion Baptist Church and Tyrone Nelson of Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church, who announced their withdrawal from the event.
Pastor G should never had been invited. This thankfully short-l,ived honor makes it harder for victims to come forward. When charged child molesters are publicly supported and honored victims are intimated into silence. When victims stay silent children aren't safe.
We encourage those pastors, friends and other who know "pastor G" to read SNAP's "What to do when
your Priest/Pastor is accused of abuse,
We hope this news will bring some comfort to adults and teens who were sexually assaulted by Pastor G And we hope that his withdrawal will encourage other victims to come forward to authorities.
(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.
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.