New Orleans archbishop acknowledges 57 abusive clergy

New Orleans archbishop acknowledges 57 abusive clergy

Catholic watchdog site lists 81 perpetrators

SNAP analytics suggests there are still others not yet reported

Revealing these "hidden predators" and their enablers helps to protect children today

Survivors’ group calls for AG investigation and statute of limitation reform 

 

WHAT:

Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, child sex abuse survivors and their supporters will

-- call on Archbishop Gregory Michael Aymond to expand his list of abusers,

-- urge a statewide investigation into clergy sex crimes by the AG's office, and

-- advocate for the reform of state laws limiting the ability of victims to have their day in court. 

 

WHEN:

Monday, November 4, 2019, 11 am

 

WHERE:

Outside Notre Dame Seminary, 2901 S. Carrollton Avenue, New Orleans

 

WHO:

Four or five members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, including a Tucson man who is the volunteer president of the group’s board of directors and who was sexually abused as a child by a priest in Iowa, and the two volunteer Louisiana SNAP leaders, who are also survivors of child sexual abuse in this state.


WHY:

In November of last year Archbishop Gregory Michael Aymond acknowledged that there were 57 priests and other clergy “credibly accused” of child sex abuse in the archdiocese.  Yet, the Catholic watchdog website BishopAccountability includes 81 names of those publicly accused of abusing children in the archdiocese. The BA list includes not just priests and deacons, but also nuns, brothers and even a seminarian. SNAP analytics suggests that there may well be additional abusers who have yet to be identified.

SNAP calls on the Archbishop Aymond to expand his list to include all of those who abused within his archdiocese, priests and deacons – diocesan, order and extern – as well as brothers, nuns, seminarians, lay employees and volunteers. The archbishop should even go a step further and authorize an outside investigation of archdiocesan records, as was recently done in the Oklahoma City Archdiocese. While such an inquiry is not as effective as an independent inquiry by law enforcement, with the ability to issue search warrants and subpoenas, the survivors’ group believes that it would help close the gap between what is already known, and what would be expected in an archdiocese of this size. Revealing those additional perpetrators would not only help victims heal, it would also protect today’s children.  

The state of Louisiana has so far failed to open a governmental investigation into clergy abuse, falling behind in the nationwide movement to do so. It has also not reformed the civil statute of limitations to allow more survivors to seek justice against perpetrators and their enablers through the courts. Both measures deserve broad bipartisan support. Such reforms would keep children and communities safer, and institutions that have hidden or recycled known perpetrators would have a strong incentive to change their behavior.

According to CHILDUSA.orgonly 1/3 of victims of child sexual abuse (CSA) disclose in childhood, and 1/3 never disclose. For the remaining 1/3, the average age of disclosure is 52. Most survivors are silenced by feelings of shame, as well as the fear that they will be disbelieved. Many do not even realize until years later that what happened to them was a crime. Louisiana law presently gives CSA victims only until age 28 to file a lawsuit. As a result, abusers and those who enable them can escape justice, and more children are endangered. Allowing survivors more time to come forward and seek justice will help to expose "hidden predators," which will make Louisiana communities safer.

We encourage all victims of sexual violence, no matter their age or where their abuse occurred, to come forward, make a report to law enforcement, and seek independent sources of help, such as family members and friends, therapists, and support groups like ours.

 

Contact:  Tim Lennon, volunteer President of SNAP’s Board of Directors (415-312-5820, tlennon@SNAPnetwork.org), Richard Windmann, volunteer Louisiana SNAP Leader (682-710-1965, louisiana@snapnetwork.org), Kevin Bourgeois, volunteer New Orleans SNAP Leader (504-376-5445, NewOrleans@snapnetwork.org), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (517-974-9009, zhiner@snapnetwork.org)

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


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