SBC Delays Vote on Clergy Abuse Reforms and Ignores Suggestions from Baptist Advocates, SNAP Responds
A critical vote to advance reforms aimed at curbing cases of clergy sexual abuse was delayed when the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention was canceled. While we recognize that the spread of COVID-19 has caused plans nationwide to change, we also recognize that “where there’s a will, there’s a way,” and believe that the SBC should use alternative means in order to have this needed vote and continue the work of preventing cases of sexual violence within the SBC.
A Michigan detective is alleging that he was fired from his job for investigating sexual abuse allegations against a local priest. We applaud this detective for his role in prosecuting the priest in question and hope that Michigan’s attorney general is paying attention to this case and will review whether Catholic officials had any undue influence on this detective’s job.
Once again, rather than fight a lawsuit on its merits, Catholic officials in Houston are relying on technicalities to escape responsibility for a clergyman who is currently facing criminal charges in Montgomery County. We hope that parishioners and the public will see through this latest attempt to avoid accountability and demand better from their leaders.
Another lawsuit has been filed against a California Catholic diocese and two churches where a notorious sexual abuser worked. We applaud the victim for coming forward and bringing this new suit, a move that will force more truth and information about clergy sexual abuse into the public eye.
Dear Bishop Jugis,
As representatives of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, we believe that there are at least nine additional men who should be included on the list of abusers which you released at the end of December, 2019, and updated in February of this year. These men are:
In a Hail Mary move to roll back legislation that has already benefited communities throughout New Jersey, a catholic religious order filed a motion to overturn New Jersey’s 2019 Victim’s Rights Bill as unconstitutional. Fortunately, their motion was dismissed and the law – one of the best in the nation – remains on the books.
A priest from Michigan is heading to trial on 11 charges related to child sexual abuse allegations that were uncovered thanks to the work done by Michigan’s attorney general and her team investigating clergy abuse. We applaud the AG and her team for their work in uncovering this hidden abuser and helping keep communities safer and informed.
Thanks to the great work done by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and his team, another survivor of clergy sexual abuse learned he was not alone and that the priest who abused him had been sheltered by his superiors. Now, that survivor is filing a lawsuit against that diocese and the parish where he was abused.
Pope Francis today combined two dioceses in Alaska into one, appointing the current head of the Diocese of Juneau to lead this newly formed archdiocese. This merger presents an opportunity for Catholic officials to demonstrate renewed commitment to the prevention of abuse, and we hope that parishioners and the public will demand openness and transparency from their new leaders.
When one federal judge recused herself from cases involving clergy abuse in New Orleans, it was notable. Now that four judges have recused themselves, it is concerning.