BREAKING NEWS Purdue football draws Tennessee in Music City Bowl Full Story

Clergy abuse survivors push for federal investigation into Catholic Church

Survivors of clergy sex abuse stood in front of the Vatican embassy in Washington on Thursday and urged two ...

Posted: Sep 3, 2018 6:16 AM
Updated: Sep 3, 2018 6:16 AM

Survivors of clergy sex abuse stood in front of the Vatican embassy in Washington on Thursday and urged two higher powers -- the Pope and the US Department of Justice -- to take concrete steps to prevent more abuses and hold abusers accountable.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and Center for Constitutional Rights have also sent a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein demanding an "investigation and prosecution of high-level officials in the Catholic Church" for sexual crimes and cover-ups.

Belief, religion and spirituality

Catholic Church sexual abuse

Catholics and catholicism

Christianity

Continents and regions

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Crimes against persons

Criminal offenses

Embassies and consulates

Europe

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government departments and authorities

International relations

International relations and national security

Investigations

Justice departments

Misc people

Papacy and the Pope

Pope Francis

Religious groups

Religious leaders and clergy

Sex and gender issues

Sex crimes

Sexual assault

Society

Southern Europe

State departments and diplomatic services

Theodore McCarrick

Vatican

"It is long past time for the US Department of Justice to initiate a full-scale, nationwide investigation into the systemic rape and sexual violence, and cover-ups in the Catholic Church, and, where appropriate, bring criminal and/or civil proceedings against the hierarchy that enabled the violations," the groups said in the letter.

Pam Spees, senior staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, said a Department of Justice official has confirmed receipt of the request. Spees was part of the small protest in front of the Vatican embassy on Thursday.

Asked for comment, a spokesperson for the Department of Justice said, "We don't confirm or deny the existence of investigations."

"They have plenty of evidence," said Peter Isely, spokesman for the group Ending Clergy Abuse. "Let's launch this investigation. Let's do it now."

SNAP's letter demanding a federal investigation is dated August 15, one day after a damning report by a grand jury in Pennsylvania said there is credible evidence that 301 "predator priests" abused more than 1,000 children in six dioceses since 1947.

Because the statute of limitations had run out on most of the crimes, only two priests have been charged as a result of the two-year-long investigation.

But the Pennsylvania report has prompted officials in several other states, including Illinois and Missouri, to open inquiries into allegations of sexual misconduct by Catholic clergy.

SNAP said they have been asking for a federal investigation into the Catholic Church since 2003, during the church's last widespread scandal of clergy sex abuse.

As the embassy's white and yellow papal flag waved behind them, the abuse survivors also called on Pope Francis to release documents that could shed light on what top Vatican officials knew about Washington's former cardinal, Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, who has been accused of abusing a minor and seminarians.

McCarrick has denied accusations that he abused the minor and has not commented on the allegations about seminarians.

In an explosive letter published Sunday, former Vatican ambassador Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò said that top church officials, including Pope Francis, knew that McCarrick had been accused of abusing seminarians but covered it up. Viganò also accused Francis of lifting restrictions placed on him by the previous pope, Benedict XVI.

Vigano wrote that documents backing up his accusations were in Vatican files in the Washington embassy, where he worked from 2011-2016, when he was removed by Pope Francis.

The Pope has said he will not comment on the accusations.

"I will not say a single word about this," he said on Sunday in a press conference aboard the papal plane. "I believe the statement speaks for itself. And you have the sufficient journalistic ability to make your conclusions. It's an act of trust."

The Vatican has not responded to a CNN request to review McCarrick's church files. CNN also attempted to speak to Vatican officials at the embassy in Washington on Thursday, but no one answered the door.

Isely urged the Pope to immediately take three steps: enact a policy of "zero tolerance" worldwide for any priest credibly accused of sexual abuse; do the same for bishops accused of sexual abuse or covering up the crimes of others; publish a global registry of every Catholic priest credibly accused of sexual abuse.

West Lafayette
Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 44°
Kokomo
Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 39°
Rensselaer
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 37°
Fowler
Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 44°
Williamsport
Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 44°
Crawfordsville
Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 50°
Frankfort
Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 50°
Delphi
Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 40°
Monticello
Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 40°
Logansport
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 38°
More active weather headed our way...
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1118335

Reported Deaths: 17712
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1455892240
Lake724831254
Allen67063882
Hamilton51060487
St. Joseph49820649
Elkhart40268546
Vanderburgh34714497
Tippecanoe30808276
Johnson27696467
Hendricks26313385
Porter25657386
Madison21131455
Clark20238279
Vigo19059309
LaPorte17192261
Howard16770314
Delaware16761303
Monroe16628220
Kosciusko14293167
Hancock13113186
Bartholomew12983190
Warrick12210190
Wayne12090269
Floyd12011226
Grant11998245
Morgan10409192
Boone9869124
Noble9316122
Henry9177169
Marshall9152147
Dearborn8970100
Dubois8835140
Shelby8281130
Cass8167128
Lawrence8057185
DeKalb7817109
Jackson770793
Huntington7661115
Gibson7102118
Montgomery7101123
Harrison6954100
Knox6915116
Steuben669089
Whitley659660
Miami6595113
Putnam645085
Clinton627179
Wabash6221111
Jasper613192
Jefferson5856105
Ripley557294
Adams542281
Daviess5076117
Scott491580
Wells4836105
White478469
Greene4701101
Clay464662
Decatur4611110
Fayette452496
Jennings452067
LaGrange427491
Posey410044
Randolph3944107
Washington390956
Fountain375964
Fulton364874
Spencer362247
Starke355574
Owen353577
Sullivan348555
Orange331372
Jay331050
Rush309533
Carroll296239
Franklin292744
Perry290553
Vermillion283658
Tipton251167
Parke250130
Pike248644
Blackford222144
Pulaski210359
Newton182452
Brown177550
Crawford169129
Benton168417
Martin152120
Switzerland147612
Warren135816
Union122616
Ohio92413
Unassigned0595

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events