Vatican issues preemptive statement, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Tuesday, April 15, 2014
In response to our formal filing at the United Nations, charging that the Vatican is violating the UN treaty against torture, top Catholic officials are claiming that the treaty only has jurisdiction over the tiny Vatican city state. We hope UN committee officials will see through this desperate attempt to hide from responsibility. And we hope that before the May 5 hearing, Pope Francis will step in and stop his staff from making this cynical claim.
For decades, when confronted with abuse and cover up reports, top Catholic officials often responded with self-serving hair-splitting - claiming that priests are "independent contractors," and similar absurd legalistic arguments designed to deny responsibility for the crimes of church employees, high and low.
These kind of irresponsible dodges show just hard the Catholic hierarchy works to shuck responsibility.
How can the Pope be the head of a worldwide organization, but also only be responsible for a tiny city-state of 1000 people? Does the Pope not pick and promote bishops and other church officials across the planet? Catholic church officials cannot have it every way - some days being a global monarchy, other days being a tiny city state, and other days being a religious, not political entity.
(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)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747,SNAPblaine@gmail.com), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, email@example.com), Joelle Casteix (949-322-7434, firstname.lastname@example.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.