SNAP Calls on Diocese of Richmond to Extend Deadline to Register for Compensation Program in Light of Coronavirus
In February, the Diocese of Richmond quietly announced a compensation program for survivors. Their program has an incredibly short registration window, barely lasting two months. Now, in light of coronavirus concerns that have paralyzed a nation, we are calling on Catholic officials in Richmond to extend the deadline for their compensation program and make efforts to ensure that survivors of clergy abuse are aware of the program’s existence.
One of Pennsylvania’s Catholic dioceses is suspending its compensation program for the next 90 days because of stock market concerns caused by the coronavirus. This is a hurtful and deceitful move that clearly shows that the best pathway for survivors to get justice is through the court system and not church-run programs.
Now that allegations against a former priest from the Diocese of St. Augustine have been found credible, church officials must use every tool at their disposal to share the information with their parishioners and do outreach to still-silent victims, encouraging them to come forward and file a complaint with police.
Despite much fanfare and applause surrounding Pope Francis’ recent “reforms” to handle cases of abuse or cover-up by bishops, a court-appointed official in Minnesota reports that the Church is not following its own rules in dealing with an accused former Archbishop. We are not surprised by this announcement and believe this is yet another example of why outside, secular investigations are needed in order to police Catholic officials.
A Catholic priest accused of sexual abuse in a lawsuit by a young seminarian was recently given the honor of flying in a plane above the Diocese of Camden in order to spread prayers from the air for all those affected by the coronavirus. We can only wonder why, out of all the priests in the Diocese, a man who has been accused of sexual abuse was the one chosen.
The second highest ranking official in the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo has been placed on leave following accusations of sexual abuse. Given how scandal-ridden the Buffalo area was under former Bishop Richard Malone’s tenure, we are not surprised by this development. Once again, it seems to us that intervention from outside, secular law enforcement is definitely in order
A mistrial was declared in the case of a Wisconsin Catholic priest who has been accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl. This mistrial was only declared because attorneys for the cleric were able to sway the judge with irrelevant arguments about the immigration status of the victim’s mother. We hope that prosecutors will retry this case and help protect children in Wisconsin.
Dear Cardinal O’Malley:
Recently, D.C. Councilman David Grosso publicly acknowledged he was abused by a Capuchin friar, Fr. Scott Asalone. The cleric was first identified as an abuser in 1993. However, for reasons unclear, Fr. Asalone was not removed by the Capuchin Friars until 2007, and he was not publicly acknowledged as a perpetrator until he was included on the Diocese of Arlington’s list of accused priests released last year.
Dear Attorney General,
In a time where cases of sexual violence perpetrated within religious institutions are being reckoned with like never before, we are writing to you to urge your attention to a critical issue affecting citizens in your state.