Victims praise Colorado Springs woman & blast Catholic bishop
First, we don’t know Lisa Poulos but we applaud her for her courage and wisdom. According to a newly-released arrest affidavit, she told police her suspicions about Fr. Charles Robert Manning, who faces criminal charges for alleged child sex abuse.
If more adults who saw or suspected child sex crimes were brave and compassionate enough to call law enforcement, far more children would be spared devastating harm. We applaud Ms. Poulos and hope she receives nothing but praise for her responsible, caring action.
Second, if Manning gave the boy “classes” in his church office, gave him marijuana and liquor several times, took partially-clad photos of him, posted those photos on Facebook, and was so aggressive and brazen , over three months, that the boy felt compelled to move out of state to avoid Manning, it’s hard to believe that every single Catholic church employee and member near Manning didn’t see some serious warning signs.
Third, why aren’t Colorado Springs Catholic officials – from lower levels to the very top – doing everything possible to help law enforcement with this case?
Bishop Sheridan and his staff have a simple choice. They can sit back and do little or nothing, like Catholic officials have done for decades. Or they can show real courage and compassion, by doing everything possible to help find other victims, witnesses or whistleblowers. So far, as best we can tell, cowardice has prevailed over courage. We hope that changes. We long to see detailed announcements in every parish bulletin and on every parish website in the diocese, reminding church members of their civic and moral duty to help protect children from predators. We long to see Bishop Sheridan visit every church where Fr. Manning spent time, beating the bushes for others who may be trapped in shame, silence and self-blame, and prodding them to call police.
Finally, it’s just heart-breaking to learn that a boy who was reportedly interested in becoming a Catholic would be repeatedly violated in this horrific way. We are grateful he’s cooperating with police and wish he and his family well during the long, tough recovery process ahead.
Read the story here: http://www.gazette.com/articles/priest-139560-thursday-one.html
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.