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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Letters


Letter to Bishop Galante
Diocese of Camden, NJ


March 23, 2004

Most Rev. Joseph Galante
Catholic Diocese of Dallas Chancery
P.O. Box 190507
Dallas, TX 75219

Dear Bishop Galante:

On behalf of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests I am writing to welcome you to your new assignment in the Diocese of Camden. We are familiar with some of the steps you have taken in the Diocese of Dallas regarding clergy sexual abuse during your tenure there, particularly the instance in which you were compelled to publicly challenge Bishop Grahmann about his handling of a case against a Dallas cleric. This was an illustration of “fraternal correction” which has been lacking through the course of the clergy abuse crisis throughout the church.

As you may know there have been published reports over the years that the first act in office for some new bishops has been to destroy personnel files for all of the diocesan clergy. As you begin a new era in the Diocese of Camden, one of the more notorious dioceses in the country for the sexual abuse of children by priests, we urge you to do the exact opposite. We ask that you commit today to real transparency and openness in your new diocese by making your first official acts in office as follows:

Identify all credibly accused perpetrators as recently reported to John Jay College.
Disclose the personnel files of all credibly accused perpetrators, including the files in the secret archives of your predecessors.

Meet with clergy abuse survivors and SNAP leaders to learn firsthand about the record of abuse in your new diocese.

Join clergy abuse survivors in a public forum to address with us the clergy abuse issue, and to establish collaborative efforts with SNAP to prevent further abuse in the diocese and to encourage reporting by victims who remain silent.

We welcome a response from you on our requests, and hope you will accept our offer to work together to prevent child molestation by priests under your watch and to fully disclose the record of abuse in your new diocese.

Very sincerely,

Barbara Polesir
South Jersey Director of SNAP

cc: Andrew Walton, Diocese of Camden


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests