VT--Victims blast new VT Catholic bishop
For immediate release: Monday, Dec. 22
We are deeply disappointed that Pope Francis has promoted Cardinal Bernard Law’s former mouthpiece. For years, time and time again, then Fr. Christopher Coyne repeated deceptive public relations spin about heinous child sex crimes and callous cover ups by Law and other Catholic officials.
Ironically, on the same day that headlines tout a tongue-lashing of self-serving church bureaucrats by Pope Francis, the Vatican announces the promotion of an aide to perhaps America’s most self-serving church bureaucrat ever.
While a bishop in Indiana, we prodded Coyne to aggressively reach out to anyone who may have seen crimes by Fr. Francis Markey who was arrested by US marshals at his Indiana home in connection with the alleged rape of a 15-year-old boy twice, including the day of the boy's father's funeral.
As best we can tell, he ignored our request.
And he did absolutely nothing in Boston or Indianapolis that gives us any hope he’ll be any better on children’s safety than his predecessor.
So we urge Vermont Catholics and citizens to be skeptical and vigilant and report known or suspected clergy sex crimes and cover ups to secular authorities, not church officials.
In many ways, Francis is very different than Benedict. When it comes to the abuse crisis, however, he really isn’t. Both popes promote church officials who ignored or concealed known or suspected clergy sex crimes, time and time and time again. Today’s announcement continues that depressing pattern.
(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.