We want to see humility, action, but I'm not expecting anything like that from the bishops
by Fr. Peter Daly
That is what I am expecting from the bishops in Rome in February.
Maybe that seems a bit pessimistic, but I think it is realistic. I've been disappointed at their lack of courage and leadership before. So, this time, it is best to expect nothing.
I was disappointed in 2003 when the U.S. bishops drafted the Dallas Charter which rightly held priests accountable for sexual abuse of minors but did nothing about the accountability of the bishops. They thought only Rome could hold them accountable.
I was disappointed in their implementation of the Dallas Charter when some bishops refused to turn over their files to the investigators and when many lay members of the advisory board felt compelled to resign because of bishops' non-cooperation.
I was disappointed last November when the regular meeting of the U.S. bishops in Baltimore, which was supposed to be dedicated to the sexual abuse crisis, did absolutely nothing, at the request of the Vatican. I agreed with those who said they should at least have passed some recommendations.
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.