Victims Blast1 Ma Church Officials over Predator Priest
January 27, 2014
For immediate release: Monday, Jan. 27
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
It's troubling that Worcester Catholics seem to be the last to be told about credible child sex abuse allegations against a local priest.
Catholic officials admit they've already told police and Vatican officials about accusations against Fr. Edward P. Lettic. But only yesterday did they tell parishioners at his Lancaster parish.
To distance themselves from heinous crimes by predator priests, bishops virtually always say when the crimes allegedly happened. But they virtually never say how long ago they allegedly got the report. That's an important fact. Worcester police, prosecutors, parents and parishioners deserve to know whether Catholic officials took six days or six months to “investigate” the child sex abuse allegation against Fr. Lettic.
We call on Bishop McManus to disclose this fact. We also call on him to
–use his vast resources (church bulletins, diocesan publications, etc.) to prod anyone with knowledge or suspicions about Fr. Lettic's crimes to call police immediately,
--post on the diocesan websites the names, photos, work histories and whereabouts of every current or former Worchester child molesting cleric (like 30 US bishops have done) and,
--personally visit every other place where Fr. Lettic worked – even for a short time – and beg those who may have seen, suspected or suffered his crimes to contact law enforcement.
Every delay is problematic. Every day the bishop refuses to aggressively do outreach gives Fr. Lettic and his church colleagues or supervisors more chances to destroy evidence, fabricate alibis, intimidate victims, threaten whistleblowers, discredit witnesses and perhaps even flee the country.
Finally, we commend the brave individual who reported Fr. Lettic's crimes and call on others who may be suffering in silence, shame and self blame to step forward, get help, protect kids, expose wrongdoers and start healing.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 15,000 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)