WV--Victims challenge bishop to act
For immediate release: Wednesday, March 15, 2016
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, 314 645 5915 home,firstname.lastname@example.org)
Criminal charges have been filed against three Catholic officials who assigned priests to work in the Wheeling-Charleston diocese. We challenge Bishop Michael J. Bransfield to take action to help prosecutors convict these complicit clerics.
Franciscans, including notorious serial predator Brother Stephen Baker, have worked for years in Philippi, WV. A grand jury in Pennsylvania has found that Franciscan officials moved eight accused clerics elsewhere after they were accused of assaulting kids.
Bransfield can do nothing. Or he can issue a strong public plea for Franciscan victims to come forward. And he can turn over to prosecutors every shred of evidence he and his staff may have about Br. Baker to secular authorities.
Who knows what e mail from what Wheeling-Charleston diocesan official to what Franciscan official might be the “smoking gun” that wins a conviction against Franciscan Frs. Giles Schinelli, 73, Robert D'Aversa, 69, and Anthony Criscitelli, who are charged with one count of endangering the welfare of children and criminal conspiracy; each are third degree felony charges.
Regardless of what Catholic officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups – especially by religious order cleric – to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling journalists, get justice by calling attorneys, and get comfort by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will be healed, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will be revealed.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has 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)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, email@example.com), Judy Jones 636 433 2511, SNAPjudy@gmail.com
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.