WA--Victims want probe of archdiocese
Victims want probe of archdiocese
SNAP: “Law enforcement must act”
Group wants abuse documents disclosed
And they release part of a predator priest’s record
“Archbishop should also expand perp list,” victims say
A church agency counselor abused 2 weeks ago, they note
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will
--disclose 15 pages of church records about one of Seattle’s most notorious predator priests, and
--beg local law enforcement or the state attorney general to investigate the archdiocese with a focus on pursuing “enablers” – current or former church staff who may have destroyed evidence, obstructed justice intimidated victims, threatened whistleblowers, or refused to report known/suspected abuse to police.
They will also urge Seattle Catholic officials to
--end the “slow torture of gradual, grudging records releases” by fully “coming clean and voluntarily disclosing all documents about all child molesting clerics,” and
--add more names of child molesting priests, nuns, seminarians, brothers and lay people – including those who prey on vulnerable adults – to the recently-posted predators list on the church website.
Monday, March 14, 1:15 p.m.
On the sidewalk outside the Seattle Catholic archdiocesan headquarters (“chancery”) 710 9th Ave. (corner of Cherry St.) in downtown Seattle
Four-six clergy sex abuse victims who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, including a Chicago woman who is the organization’s founder
---1) More than 115,000 pages of long-secret records about clergy sex crimes and cover up involving more than 50 priests were obtained in a recent grand jury investigation in the Altoona Pennsylvania diocese, which has garnered national attention recently. Seattle Catholic officials are hiding even more documents about even more predators, SNAP charges.
Eight other district attorneys across the US done similar investigations.
“If, for decades, dozens of staff at a hospital were hurting patients, prosecutors or the attorney general would launch investigations,” said Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP’s founder. “Authorities would use their bully pulpits to urge the wounded to come forward. That’s the least that should happen here.”
---2) Even without a law enforcement investigation, SNAP says, Seattle Archbishop Peter Sartain should, “for kids’ safety, victims’ healing and the church’s health,” voluntarily release those records, because kids will be safer and cover ups will be deterred if those who protected predators are publicly exposed.”
“Fixating solely on predator priests just distracts from the crux of the crisis: church staff who hide child sex crimes,” said Tim Lennon, a SNAP board member. “We believe that many employees who enabled pedophiles to hurt kids are still on the job in churches and that citizens and Catholics need and deserve to know who they are.”
---3) SNAP is making public today 15 pages of records about Fr. James McGreal. They show deliberate deception by Catholic officials. In 1977, a church therapist wrote Seattle’s then-archbishop that McGreal should “not have any close activities with teens or young adult men.” But 11 years later, the archbishop wrote to a McGreal victim’s family claiming he did not know McGreal was a pedophile until 1987.
SNAP believes “much more proof of many more lies and half-truths by more current and former Catholic supervisors” remains hidden in the archdiocesan secret files.
---4) SNAP also wants Sartain to add four more priests to his archdiocesan predators list:
The group also believes abusive nuns, seminarians, and lay staff should be added.
Catholic officials claim that most church abuse cases are “old.” But SNAP notes that less than two weeks ago, a counselor at a church agency was arrested on charges of molesting a boy.
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.