Letters List


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Letters

Letter to Toledo Bishop


Survivors Network of those Abused By Priests
P.O. Box 6416, Chicago, Illinois 60680-6416

June 29, 2005

Bishop Leonard Blair
Diocese of Toledo
1933 Spielbush Ave.
Toledo, Ohio

Dear Bishop Blair:

We are writing to ask you to take action to allow Toledo's Catholics to view the film "Twist of Faith." Can you please make churches and schools available to show the documentary film about sex abuse of boy growing up in the Toledo diocese?

As you know the film was nominated for an Academy Award and focuses on Tony Comes, a Toledo firefighter who was molested by a local priest. Earlier today the Toledo Blade announced that the Maumee Theatre had decided not to show the film despite a widely-attended opening at the Maumee Theatre just two nights ago.

Church officials say they had nothing to do with Maumee's decision, but some Catholics and abuse victims find that hard to believe. SNAP leaders say Toledo Catholic authorities have a chance to show they no longer want to hide the truth about these horrific clergy sex crimes and cover ups, by showing he film.

So we are asking you, Bishop Blair, to take action to enable Catholics in Toledo to have the chance to view the film. Please invite HBO and those associated with "Twist of Faith" to show the film in parishes and schools in the Toledo Diocese.

Surely you understand that many Catholics and victims are skeptical at this point about church leaders. History has shown that time and time again, bishops have fought in the courthouses and statehouses and media to hide the truth about clergy sex crimes. Sadly, this is not just history, but current practice in most dioceses even today.

So the decision by Maumee officials to not show "Twist of Faith" will reflect poorly on them, on our community, and (like it or not) on the Toledo diocese. Many will assume that somehow you or one of your staff pressured Maumee leaders to squelch the film. That belief is certainly reasonable, given the painful patterns of secrecy that are so obviously and deeply rooted in the church hierarchy.

Please show the church leaders do want to assist in healing. Please take action now to allow the film to be shown to the largest possible audience.


Claudia Vercellotti

Barbara Blaine

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests