Vatican--New Vatican abuse process could go either way
For immediate release: Wednesday, June 10 2015
Sound isn’t necessarily music. Motion isn’t necessarily progress. And a “process” isn’t necessarily prevention, especially if that process involves clergy sex crimes and cover ups and the Catholic hierarchy.
The problem has never been a lack of Vatican officials with the specific “process” to investigate their complicit colleagues. The problem has been, and is, a lack of Vatican officials with the courage to investigate their complicit colleagues. Sadly, no words on paper can give timid, career-focused, self-serving monarchs the courage to do what’s right – expose the corrupt colleagues.
Let’s be clear: we never asked for a new “process” to discipline bishops who endanger kids, protect predators, stonewall prosecutors, shrewd evidence, and mislead parishioners. We just asked that it be done. And it hasn’t been done.
Similarly, we never asked for a new “process” for a trial for Polish Archbishop Joseph
Wesolowski, who is accused of sexually abusing kids in the Dominican Republic. Vatican officials claim, however, that they’ve set one up and will put him on trial. It hasn’t been done - and he resigned his post almost two years ago. (We want him tried in secular courts.)
We never asked for a new “process” to oust complicit bishops. We asked that it be done. And it hasn’t been done.
We never asked for a new “process” for bishops to post names of proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics. We asked that it be done. Roughly 30 US bishops did. Most still haven’t.
A “process” can be used or abused. We fear this one will be used to mollify distraught parishioners and generate nice headlines. We hope to be proven wrong. If this “process” leads to complicit bishops being ousted and cover ups being deterred, we’ll be thrilled. But we’re not counting on it.
A new process can lead to prevention or to complacency. It’s just too early to tell. And it’s best to stay vigilant, especially given the troubling track record of church abuse bodies.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 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.
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.