Help Us Protect Children
Today is the National Call to Action by the Catholic Too. We are here representing SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, which is an advocacy group for those who have been sexually abused by those in power, especially clergy. Our goal is to end the sexual abuse of children and vulnerable adults by priests, to hold those that cover up the abuse accountable, and to support those who have already been abused.
We believe that the Pennsylvania Report on sexual abuse and its cover up by the Catholic Church is not an isolated incident. Instead is a pattern that is present in every diocese in the world, including right here in the Diocese of Galveston-Houston.
Today we are calling for the following:
Survivor Justice and Civil Recourse
- We urge Attorney General Ken Paxton to immediately launch a civil investigation of clergy sexual abuse in every diocese in Texas.
- We call on the Texas State Legislature to:
- Remove the statute of limitations for criminal sexual abuse in the state of Texas.
- Remove the statute of limitations prohibiting survivors from filing civil suits for damages against predators and those who cover up for them.
- Open a permanent civil window, as was done in Guam, to allow victims who have been previously barred by the statute of limitations to file civil suits against predators and those who cover up for them.
- Prohibit nondisclosure agreements in cases involving criminal sexual abuse, and bar the enforcement of such agreements signed prior to the passage of the law.
- Tighten and toughen laws requiring mandatory reporters to pass along suspicions of child sexual abuse to the authorities, including making failure to report a felony and removing the statute of limitations.
Church Transparency and Accountability
- We demand the resignations all clergy, including bishops, credibly accused of abuse or its cover up.
- We urge the Catholic Church to eliminate the lay National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People and instead rely on civil authorities to conduct investigations of sexual misconduct.
- We call on Cardinal Dinardo to:
- Make available to US civil authorities all relevant documents held by the Diocese on sexual abuse by clergy.
- Publish the names of all credibly accused abusers on parish websites.
Finally, we call on you, the Catholic faithful, to ask the cardinal if any priests who have been accused of child sexual abuse — regardless of Church findings — remain in active ministry, and to identify all those men and release any and all information about the allegations. Whether or not Cardinal Dinardo complies with this request, we recommend that you go to the website BishopAccountability.org, and examine carefully the information there concerning these two diocesan priests:
Father John Keller – Prince of Peace
Father Terry Brinkman – St John the Evangelist
Michael Norris SNAPmdnorris@hotmail.com, 713-855-9178;
Tim Lennon tlennon@SNAPnetwork.org, 415-312-5820