WA- Victims blast ex Catholic panel members & archbishop
For immediate release: Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
A retired judge and ex-U.S. attorney are blasting Seattle's Catholic archbishop for being secretive and deceitful about predator priests.
We're glad they're speaking up. But they are to blame as well. They let themselves be used by church officials. They too kept quiet about Fr. Quigg for a decade.
The two men - retired Judge Terrence Carroll and former U.S. Attorney Mike McKay - are former members of an archdiocesan review board.
It's great to see them urge Archbishop Peter Sartain to “release the documents” about Fr. Quigg, a credibly accused cleric who sexually exploited a teenager, but whose wrongdoing was hidden for ten years until our group recently sent out a news release about him.
But these two men could and should have done more sooner to warn the public and protect others. We hope they'll do more soon, sharing other secrets they've kept. Far too few Catholic church members and employees have become “whistleblowers.” And that's one reason why the church's horrific clergy sex abuse and cover up crisis continues and why child molesting clerics remain hidden and kids remain at risk.
We agree with Carroll and McKay when they say it's deceitful for Sartain to claim his staff “recently learned” that Fr. Quigg was still acting like a priest. We strongly suspect that archdiocesan staff knew Fr. Quigg was doing this but ignored it for fear of drawing attention to his sexual misdeeds.
Regardless, it's now time for Carroll and McKay – and other current and former review board members - to share other information with the public that might help parents protect their kids.
These men and women gave their time and lent their reputations to the archdiocese. They were used as part of a shrewd public relations strategy in which bishops' put respected, sincere lay people on panels, gave them inadequate and inaccurate information, and then shielded themselves from criticism by citing recommendations by the lay people on how to handle the clerics.
We hope these men – and other panel members, past and present - will do all they can now to “un-do” some of the harm caused by their participation in this deceitful panel. And we hope Sartain will insist that Fr. Quigg live in a remote, secure, and independently-run treatment center where he will be kept away from innocent kids and vulnerable adults.
(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 15,000 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.