Vatican -- Victims say Pope should oust Chilean bishop
For immediate release: Thursday, March 26
We applaud the two victims on the pope’s abuse panel who are speaking out against the promotion of a corrupt prelate. We call on Francis to reverse himself and out the Chilean bishop he just appointed.
Marie Collins and Pete Saunders are expressing concern over the elevation of Bishop Juan Barros who faces credible allegations of witnessing and concealing child sex crimes by Fr. Fernando Karadima.
Rewarding wrongdoers encourages wrongdoing. In some ways, this pope differs from his predecessors. But with clergy sex abuse and cover up cases, he differs little. Francis is way more adept at saying the right things about predator priests and complicit bishops. But he steadfastly refuses to do the right things about them.
Actions matter, not words. And kids are endangered when those who ignore or hide child sex crimes are promoted. Barros’ elevation essentially signals to victims that their pain doesn’t matter to the church hierarchy and to bishops that protecting predators is still valued by the church hierarchy.
Pope Francis has made several unprecedented moves, like carrying his own luggage, cold-calling individuals, and washing the feet of Muslims. He should make a similarly but more significant and unprecedented move and oust this complicit bishop he just appointed.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 and have 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.