MA – SNAP statement on secrecy in the Fall River diocese

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David O’Regan on September 28, 2012

We’re here today for 3 reasons. First, we want to urge everyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups in the Fall River area to come forward and to call police, expose wrongdoing, protect others and start healing. When victims, witnesses and whistleblowers stay silent, predators walk free and kids get hurt. But when we find the courage and strength to step forward, at least there’s a chance for healing, justice and prevention.

It is almost always possible to recover from childhood trauma. It is sometimes possible to get justice in the civil and criminal courts. And it’s sometimes possible to prevent future child sex crimes and cover ups.

But staying silent isn’t the way to do this. This can only happen when victims speak up.

Second, we want Fall River’s bishop to take three steps regarding the self-serving and callous waiver that parents were given to sign – at one local parish, possibly more – relieving Catholic Church and school officials of responsibility for harm to kids.

The bishop should

–discipline the persons responsible for it.
–explain how this happened.
–promise, in writing, that he won’t use that waiver again.

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