The Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis Appears Unwilling to Stress Law Enforcement and CPS Involvement

We are disappointed by the lack of initiative on the part of the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis to include and prominently place contact information for state and local law enforcement, Child Protective Services, and the Office of the Attorney General of Indiana in its abuse-reporting protocols and on its diocesan and parishes’ Web sites.

This is another example of ecclesiastical bias trumping a wholly transparent and comprehensive effort to encourage individuals to report suspected abuse to empowered entities outside of a church.  Too many victims of sexual abuse and their families know the unspeakable pain when confronted with such institutional bias, which can only (and inexcusably) put more children and other potential victims at greater risk.  Repeated attempts by SNAP Indiana Leader, Dan Powroznik, to make contact and dialogue with Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows have been unsuccessful.  Furthermore, the Rev. Cara Spaccarelli, rector of St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church (Carmel, IN), recently suggested he delay his self-nomination to become a lay member of the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis’s Discipline Review Board for questionable reasons and an arbitrary length of time.  

It is disheartening that the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis doesn’t appear to take the safeguarding of its families, especially their children and other vulnerable individuals, with sufficient vigor despite being approved for a tax–payer-funded COVID-19 bailout loan of between $,150,000 and $350,000 on May 1st, 2020. There is little doubt that loan will be forgiven by the church’s creditor, JP Morgan Chase Bank.  

Following is contact information in the state of Indiana regarding the reporting of suspected child abuse.

Indiana State Police: (317) 232-8248; https://www.in.gov/isp/   

Indiana’s Child Protective Services: 1-800-800-5556; https://www.in.gov/dcs/2398.htm 

Office of the Attorney General of Indiana: (317) 232-6201; https://www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/

CONTACTS: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (517-974-9009, zhiner@snapnetwork.org), and Dan Powroznik, SNAP Indiana Leader (317-366-6189, dpowroznik@snapnetwork.org)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse and their families in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is www.snapnetwork.org.)

 


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