WA--Controversy continues over two Seattle predator priests
For immediate release: Wednesday, Nov. 19
Controversy continues to swirl around decisions by Seattle Catholic officials that victims and concerned parishioners consider deceitful, hurtful and reckless.
Today, the National Catholic Reporter writes about the recent cases of Fr. Harold Quigg and the defrocked and recently deceased Fr. David Jaeger.
Parishioners link the two cases, “viewing both as indicative of a lack of archdiocesan diligence in regard to priests found to be credibly accused of sexual abuse of children,” NCR reports.
Regarding Quigg: It’s not enough to say “oops, we let a credibly accused predator priest keep ministering.” Someone must be disciplined. Otherwise, nothing changes.
Regarding Jaegar: Honoring admitted predators also discourages other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers from reporting offenders and preventing crimes. This kind of selfish, callous church event is one reason clergy sex crimes and cover ups keep happening.
Here’s the bottom line: Clerics can make it harder or easier for people to disclose suspected child sex crimes. The two or three dozen clerics involved in these controversies are making it harder.
What will Archbishop Peter Sartain do to discipline the 20 priests and four nuns who were involved in Jaeger’s funeral and those who knew about but concealed Quigg’s wrongdoing? That's the way you prevent future hurtful events like this.
And what will the clerics involved do to mitigate the damage and hurt they've caused? That's what you do if you're really sorry for causing pain.
More policies and protocols are just public relations posturing. Demoting those who cause damage – to innocent kids, vulnerable adults, wounded victims and trusting parishioners – that’s real reform.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 18,000 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.
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.