CA--Victims urge Catholic officials to act now on new child sex abuse allegations
Victims urge Catholic officials to act
Two predator priests recently “outed”
Clerics worked in three Bay Area dioceses
Group wants outreach to “others in pain”
SNAP: “Protect kids by calling police now”
Victims also want bishops to post abusers on websites
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will
--disclose that two priests who worked in the Bay Area were recently “outed” as alleged predators and sued for child sex crimes for the first time,
--prod Catholic officials to “seek out other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers,” and
--beg anyone who may have “seen, suspected or suffered crimes” by either priest to “protect kids by calling police,” and
--again urge local bishops to post list of abusers on their websites (like 30 US bishops have done).
Tuesday, April 26, 12:00 p.m.
The Cathedral of Christ the Light, 2121 Harrison Street (between 21st & Grand) in Oakland
Two-three clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters who are members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
Two priests who worked in Bay Area Catholic institutions were accused publicly accused of child sexual abuse for the first time several weeks ago.
In February Father Emmerich Vogt was accused in a lawsuit of sexually abusing a ten year old altar boy in 1987. Vogt was the Prior of Saint Albert’s Priory, Chapel and Seminary in Oakland. He was also the Director at the Shrine of Saint Jude in San Francisco.
Last month Father Milton “Milty” Eggerling was accused in a Texas lawsuit of abusing an 11 year old boy in the 1970s. Eggerling worked in four Oakland parishes and as a Catholic chaplain at Providence Hospital in Oakland. He also worked in a parish in Palo Alto, which belongs to the Diocese of San Jose.
Members of SNAP want Oakland Bishop Michael Barber (510-893 4711, firstname.lastname@example.org), San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone (415-614-5500,email@example.com), and San Jose Bishop Patrick Joseph McGrath (408-983-0100, firstname.lastname@example.org) to “aggressively reach out” to anyone who may have been abused by Vogt or Eggerling when the priests worked in the Bay Area. The group fears that there may be more victims who are suffering in shame and silence.
“We’re concerned because, based on our experience, Father Vogt and Father Eggerling have more victims right here in the Bay Area,” said Tim Lennon of SNAP. “Predators never have just one victim. Church officials have a moral duty to reach out to anyone who may be hurting.”
The survivors’ group wants Church officials to use all the means at their disposal—the pulpit, church bulletins and websites, and diocesan or order publications—to reach out to Catholics who may have been abused.
SNAP also wants to encourage anyone who experienced, witnessed or suspected abuse by the two clergymen to come forward and share what they know.
“Everyone can help make kids safer by reporting to police if they know anything about Father Vogt and Father Eggerling abusing local children. Please, even if you didn’t come forward at the time, say something now!” pleaded Melanie Jula Sakoda, the East Bay Director for SNAP.
The victims’ group is also renewing their plea to local bishops to post the names of all the abusers who worked within their dioceses. The U.S. bishops have admitted that 6,400 priests abused children. But an independent archive group, BishopAccountability.org, has only identified about 4,000. That leaves approximately 2,400 priests that church officials know are or were potentially dangerous but who have not yet been publicly identified.
“Bishop Barber, Archbishop Cordileone and Bishop McGrath need to post on their websites all of the information that they have about predators who worked in their dioceses. Too many abusive priests have never been publicly exposed, and remain hidden, as Father Vogt and Father Eggerling were until this year,” said Lennon.
Sakoda chimed in, “Over the past 12 years or so, more than 30 US bishops have released such lists. None of these three Bay Area dioceses have. It’s time to change that and to expose all the hidden predators.”
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.