Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween, say clergy victims, somber reminder of unregistered sex offenders

Halloween, say clergy victims, somber reminder of unregistered sex offenders

Asking Dolan to post this week addresses of Wisconsin clergy who sexually assaulted children

New legislation, however, would require by law that religious officials turn over abuse information


CONTACT
Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director, 414.429.7259

--Email to Archbishop Timothy Dolan posted below, Bill AB-949 attached--

In an email sent Friday to Archbishop Timothy Dolan of Milwaukee, Wisconsin victims of childhood sexual abuse are urging him to follow state authorities and publish this week the names and locations of all unregistered clergy determined by church officials to have molested children and take steps to ensure a safe Halloween for children.

Victims are also urging Dolan to support Wisconsin AB949, the Clergy Sex Abuse Registry Law, introduced at the end of the spring legislative term.  

For Immediate Release
October 24, 2008

To:       Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of Milwaukee
From:   Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director
Re:       Halloween release of locations of unregistered clergy child sex offenders and AB949

Archbishop Dolan:

This Sunday, and throughout the week, Wisconsin correction officials around the nation will be keeping careful watch on registered sex offenders in our community.  During this child friendly week of trick-or-treating, law enforcement representatives here and around the nation will be making random visits to offender’s homes, establishing a 5:00 p.m. curfew, requiring a “no candy” sign to be placed on doors, and holding mandatory Halloween treatment sessions.

While such measures are welcome, statistics shows that only 1 out of every 10 sex offenders are known to the public, with nearly 90 percent unreported to law enforcement.  This group would include, of course, the over 5,000 sex offenders admitted by the Roman Catholic bishops to have molested children over the past several decades.  In the Milwaukee archdiocese alone, some 60 diocesan and religious order clergy have assaulted children or minors.

This coming week would be an excellent time to show your commitment to the protection of God’s children and finally publish, along with your fellow bishops from Wisconsin, the names, locations, and case histories of every clergy person, church official, teacher, or employee who has sexually abused children and minors.  

These child safety actions by you could then be immeasurably strengthened by your unqualified support for AB949, The Clergy Sex Abuse Registry Law, introduced last term in the Wisconsin legislature, whose chief author is long time child protection champion and Roman Catholic, Rep. Peggy Krusick of Milwaukee.

AB949 would require all religious organizations, not just Catholic ones, to submit case summaries of every employee they determined--after an investigation--had sexually assaulted children who were never reported to authorities.  If passed, this necessary and basic measure would put religious organizations and clergy in line with ever other organization and profession working with children in the State of Wisconsin.

Bishops and all religious leaders should be the best of citizens. We urge you to join childhood victims of sexual abuse by clergy this child centered week, along with all victim/survivors around the state, in swiftly enacting these simple and bold acts of good citizenship.

Peter Isely

SNAP Midwest Director
peterisely@yahoo.com
414.429.7259

John Pilmaier
SNAP Milwaukee Co-Director
pilmaier@milwpc.com
414.366.8575

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the nation’s oldest and largest self-help organization of clergy sexual abuse survivors, founded in 1989 with over 7,000 members in 63 chapters.   Visit SNAP on the web at SNAPnetwork.org.

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