Victims Urge Nuns' Group to Take Action
For immediate release:
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
Sex Abuse Victims Urge Nuns' Group To Take Action
At Maryland News Conference, They Ask To Speak To Sisters' National Assembly
Group Suspects Hundreds of Others Who Were Molested Have Not Yet Come Forward
Holding signs at a sidewalk news conference, men and women who were sexually abused by Catholic nuns will urge a national organization of nuns to
- let victims speak publicly next month to a national assembly of nuns, and
- work together to effectively prevent future abuse by nuns and help those victimized by nuns to better heal.
They will then travel to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops headquarters to hand deliver a similar letter.
Tuesday, July 13
- 2:00 p.m., outside Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) office, 8808 Cameron Street (corner of Fenton) in Silver Spring, and
- 3:45 p.m., outside United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) office, 3211 Fourth Street, N.E. in in Washington, DC
Eight victims of female and male clergy abuse who are leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the nation's largest support group for people molested by religious figures (including individuals from Wisconsin, Connecticut, Iowa, Missouri, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania)
Victims would like to work with the LCWR to provide a clear plan of action in preventing the abuse of children and vulnerable adults in female religious orders and helping those who have been abused heal. As a first step, the victims would like to speak at the nuns' national assembly in Fort Worth, TX on August 19.
They will try to hand deliver a letter to Sister Carole Shinnick, the LCWR Executive Director, saying it's crucial that nuns hear directly from victims' about their experiences. Such sessions would help victims heal, better protect children from abuse in the future, and allow sisters the opportunity to respond in a compassionate, Christian way when victims come forward.
SNAP believes victims of female clergy abuse may be more apt to come forward if the topic of female abusers is thoroughly discussed and victims allowed the chance to use their voice.For more infomation, please contact:
Landa Mauriello-Vernon, Connecticut State Director, 203-687-8072 cell
Steven Thiesen, Northeast Iowa Co-Leader, 319-231-1663 cell
Mary Guenter, SNAP Milwaukee Leader, 414-418-3191 cell
David Cerulli, Board Member, 917-757-1791 cell
David Clohessy, National Director, 314-566-9790 cell
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.