Survivors group wants independent investigation into Catholic clergy abuse in Tennessee
Tennessee or federal authorities should investigate allegations of Catholic "pedophile priests" in the state, a leader of a survivors organization said Friday.
Susan Vance, a former nun with Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), also called on Catholic authorities to support abolishing statutes of limitations on child sex abuse crimes.
Vance held a short news conference Friday in drizzling rain on the sidewalk outside the Roman Catholic Diocese of Knoxville offices on Northshore Drive. A similar news conference was held an hour later in Nashville.
"We would ask the state attorney general to impanel a grand jury or the district attorneys to ask the State Bureau of Investigation to investigate the church files," Vance said. "An independent investigation is needed, whatever that may be."
Vance said authorities also should investigate what she called the church's systematic moving of accused priests. Some were moved out of Tennessee to assignments in states that included Kentucky and Georgia.
Vance's statements came a we...
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.