WA--Seattle Catholic abuse secrecy continues, SNAP says
For immediate release: Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016
We applaud the brave woman who just settled her child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit against the Seattle Catholic archdiocese. But we deplore the continuing secrecy of church officials with predators.
Archbishop Peter Sartain could have publicly disclosed the first time someone reported janitor Chuck Siddon’s alleged abuse. He could have done so the first time an abuse report against Siddon was deemed “credible.” He could have done so the first time the archdiocese was sued because of Siddon’s alleged crimes. He could have done so when the archdiocese first paid off one of Siddon’s alleged victims.
Instead, at every juncture, Sartain opts for secrecy over openness, until the bitter end. And even then, instead of providing the full truth, he provides self-serving “spin.”
Sartain should publicly apologize for hiding Siddon’s alleged crimes. He should publicly disclose the names, whereabouts and work histories of every single proven, admitted and credibly accused sex offender who has worked in Seattle area church jobs, whether living or deceased, clerical or lay, high-ranking or entry-level. And for the safety of kids and the healing of victims, he should list all of this, permanently, on archdiocesan and parish websites.
Church officials like to use words like “mistakes” and “failures” to describe their incredibly hurtful moves. We respectfully disagree. Deliberate decisions to help keep criminals concealed aren’t “goofs” or “oversights.” These are careful choices made by smart men to protect their own reputations, careers, comfort and “brand.”
No matter what school 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, schools or other 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)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003cell, [email protected]), Mary Dispenza, volunteer Seattle director of SNAP (425-644-2468, [email protected])
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