NY--Victims blast NY bishop over just-accused priest
For immediate release: Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Once again, Long Island’s Catholic bishop is mishandling the case of a predator priest.
Church policies require Bishop Murphy to suspend Fr. Frank Parisi from Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Malverne, not just let him voluntarily step down for an unspecified time.
Those same policies require Murphy to be “open and transparent” about these serious and credible child sex abuse charges, not minimize and mis-characterize them by calling them “inappropriate” and “misconduct.”
Those same policies – and common sense and decency – don’t say “let an accused predator priest put his ‘spin’ on child sex abuse allegations through an open letter to his parish.”
So what now?
Murphy should apologize for his misleading language. He should suspend Fr. Parisi. He should turn over Fr. Parisi’s full personnel file to law enforcement agencies every place where the priest worked. He should personally visit every parish where Fr. Parisi ever was, even briefly, and beg anyone who may have information or suspicions about him to call police or prosecutors. He should post names of predator priests on church websites, as 30 of his fellow bishops have done.
This isn’t rocket science. These aren’t expensive, controversial or unprecedented moves. They are the least that a caring shepherd should do in this situation.
And if he refuses, priests and other church employees on Long Island should step up and do all they can to seek out others who may have been hurt by Fr. Parisi.
No matter what lawmakers or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)