PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Protesters gathered outside the Cathedral Basilica Saints Peter and Paul to deliver another blow to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia that has taken so many hits already.
“We have seen Archdiocesan officials do many reckless, deceitful, callous things,” said Barbara Dorris, Outreach Director for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).
SNAP released a document they claim is from the church. The form, if signed by a sex abuse victim, prohibits “…the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from releasing to law enforcement authorities any information I provide about alleged sexual abuse. I understand this is contrary to the policy of the Archdiocese.”
“It’s hard giving money to the church every Sunday when you know it’s going to cover things up or just pay for attorneys,” said Joann Rufo, a parishioner at Annunciation B.V.M. in Havertown.
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The Archdiocese had no comment about the document, and would neither confirm nor deny its authenticity. But the recently released grand jury report mentions such a document. It says “The victim assistance coordinators regularly invited victims to sign ‘Prohibition to Report’ forms, which are designed to prevent the Archdiocese from reporting priests’ crimes to law enforcement.”
The release of the document comes days after the church suspended 21 priests for credible allegations of sexual abuse. Many Catholics say they are still strong in their faith, but they want to see the leadership of their faith do more to protect the parishioners and the children.
Reported by Oren Liebermann, CBS 3