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.
Jim Bartko was many things. He was a part of many things. He achieved great things despite the "demons" he had. He was a hero.
Following an allegation of abuse being reported to the Iowa attorney general, the Diocese of Davenport has suspended a priest who has been accused of sexual misconduct in the 1990s. Once again, reports made to law enforcement resulted in immediate action from Catholic officials. We hope this story encourages other victims and witnesses in Iowa to come forward and make a report to the attorney general.
This week, American Catholic bishops are touting a new reporting system that can be used by victims and witnesses to report crimes committed by prelates. While giving the public options is usually a good thing, we hope that instead of using this internal Church-run system that victims and witnesses will instead choose to report to police and prosecutors.
A former Catholic priest who molested a DC Councilman has been arrested and charged with child sexual abuse. We applaud the brave victim in this case and hope his example will encourage other survivors and witnesses to come forward and make a report to police.
An abusive French Catholic priest who admitted to abusing at least 80 boys was sentenced today to five years in prison. While we are grateful that this dangerous man will now be kept away from children, we worry about the message being sent by this sentence.
In a Wisconsin courtroom this week, defense attorneys for a priest accused of sexually abusing a child attempted to smear the child’s mother by arguing that the allegation “is a path for citizenship.” This is a disturbing attempt to shift the focus from the accused to the parent of the victim, and we hope the jury sees through this sad attempt by the defense.
Once again, Catholic officials are manipulating the legal system to hide assets and secrets to the detriment of survivors, parishioners and the public. We hope that the judges presiding over this case can reverse the deceptive moves of church leaders and force transparency on this secretive institution.
For immediate release: March 12, 2020
Next week Msgr. William Lynn will be back in court on charges of child endangerment. We hope that he will be convicted – again – by a jury of his peers for his role in covering up a case of child sexual abuse.
Allegations that a priest sexually abused at least four children in Florida were announced yesterday for the first time. According to the attorneys representing the victim, the priest in question has been accused by at least four different people, at least one of whom has already reported to church officials who found him “not credible.”