An Open Letter to All Survivors and to All Who Have Been Hurt by the Clergy Abuse Crisis

 
        Important: The intent of this Open Letter is to raise awareness of how everyone, not just survivors, has felt the impact of the clergy abuse crisis. Survivors were the driving force behind this letter, but you don't have to be a survivor to participate. We are urging anyone who feels they've been affected by this crisis and who agrees with what is being put forward here, to add their name to the Open Letter.
        This will be an ongoing project of SafeNet. Names will be added and updated regularly. If you would like to sign, please send us an email. Instructions for doing so are at the end of the Open Letter.  
 
                                                    * * * 
                            
         For many of us who endured the unspeakable crime of clergy sexual abuse, our memory of betrayal is once again triggered by the most recent allegations reaching all the way to the Vatican. We cannot erase the traumatic memory of our past. The expressions of horror, regret, and even deep denial are all around us. With every breaking news story we are once again confronted with our own personal terror. Though many of us today no longer follow any one religion, many more are still searching for a spiritual re-connection. What matters most is how we choose to respond to the crisis.   
 
        Spiritual and emotional health becomes critical during such a public retelling of our experience. We live with our pain and suffering on a daily basis. We cope as best we can. But the risk of re-injury on the world stage is greater than ever now. Caring for oneself is the first priority. It begins with compassion for ourselves and continues when we extend it to others. This is not the easy way out. It takes courage to advocate for understanding.   

        Every healing journey passes through friendly and dangerous territories alike. A certain measure of any recovery depends upon recognizing and responding to gestures of concern from others. If the ultimate communal goal is to help the greatest number, then a universal response is the most meaningful and effective. For those who give and for those who receive, a necessary change must occur that includes a willingness to respond compassionately. 

        This is no small pivotal movement in our shared memory. It encourages personal and collective healing by challenging us to begin the shift from within. The cries we hear are not ours alone. The clergy abuse crisis is systemic. It is also transformative. Out of a great evil can come a greater good. Many of us are working for fundamental reform while engaged in a process of deep, personal healing. The two are not mutually exclusive. Join us.

---

If you would like to add your name to the signatories: You can email us at  mysafenet (at) yunews (dot) com. Please provide your name, city and state (or country). You may include other information about yourself that you feel is helpful. You may also choose to remain anonymous if you wish.

April, 2010

SIGNATORIES

Paul Fericano
Co-Founder and Director
SafeNet: The Survivors Alliance and Franciscan Exchange Network
Millbrae and Santa Barbara, CA
 
Mary Setterholm
Seminarian
Union Theological Seminary, NYC
Accepted to Harvard Divinity School 2010/2011 MDIV
Returned Catholic.
 
Dr. Jaime Romo
Education Director
The Healing Foundation
Vista, CA
 
Dolores Davidson
Lay Advocate for Victims Assistance Ministry
L.A. Archdiocese
Returned Catholic
 
Olan Horne
Board Member
Instruments of Peace
Westchester, MA
www.iopeace.org
 
John McCord
Co-Founder
SafeNet: Survivors Alliance and Franciscan Exchange Network
San Francisco, CA
 
Angelica Jochim
Poet
Santa Barbara, CA
 
Vincent S. Perez, MD
Board Certified Psychiatrist
Pleasanton, CA 
 
Katie O'Reilly Rogers
Landscape Architect
Designer / The Garden of Forgiveness
Santa Barbara, CA
 
Alice MacDonald, MA
Board Member
Instruments of Peace
Santa Barbara, CA
Evolving C/catholic
 
Mike Higgins
Warwick, NY
 
Stan Caspary
Sheffield, IA
 
Susan Blomstad, O.S.F.
Sisters of Saint Francis
Redwood City, CA
 
Anonymous
Bismarck, ND
 
David Johnson
San Jose, California
 
Bill Casey
Chair/Voice of the Faithful
Grieving and hoping with my Catholic and formerly Catholic
brothers and sisters
 
Rev. Julie Prey-Harbaugh
Mennonite Church USA
Director, One Childhood Consulting
www.onechildhoodconsulting.com
Co-Leader, Dove's Nest Collaborative
www.dovesnest.net
 
Udo Strutynski, J.D., Ph.D.
Survivor and Supporter
 
Dan Dameron
Vista, CA
current status of Non-Believer.
 
Margaret Schettler
Survivor Supporter
Religious Education Coordinator
Our Lady of Grace Church, Encino, CA
 
Anonymous
Logan, UT
 
Christine Salvia Milne
Leadership Team
Voice of the Faithful/Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA
 
Eric Large
Saddle Lake Cree Nation
Indian Residential School
Office/Resolution Health Support Worker
Alberta, Canada.
 
Howard Fradkin, Ph.D.,
Chairperson
MaleSurvivor Weekends of Recovery
www.malesurvivor.org
 
Mikele Rauch, LMFT
Author, Healing the Soul after Religious Abuse
www.malesurvivor.org
 
Jeff Jones
www.jeffjones.globalverge.com
 
Clement Krause
Santa Barbara, CA
 
Steven J. Raths
Tempe, AZ
Former seminarian;
Practicing Catholic
 
Anonymous
Stand with brothers and sisters
Portland, OR
 
John Dooley
South San Francisco, CA
 
Sharon Doubiago
San Francisco, CA
Author, My Father's Love, Portrait of the Poet as a Young Girl, a legacy of incest.
www.sharondoubiago.com
 
Annie Menebroker
Poet
Survivor Supporter
Sacramento, CA
 
Alan Scouten
Architect
Charlottsville, VA
www.shelterusnow.com
 
Dan Gerber
Poet
Santa Ynez, CA
 
T. D. H.
Davie, FL
 
A.D. Winans
Poet and Writer
San Francisco, CA
 
Glenn Felion,
Cathedral City, CA
 
Bob Banner
Publisher / Editor
HopeDance
San Luis Obispo, CA
www.hopedance.org
 
Matthias Lambert
Rohnert Park, CA
 
Rita Lambert
Theologian
Rohnert Park, CA
 
Kevin J. Belton
Former Seminarian
Napa, CA
 
J. Smith
Patterson, NJ
 
Philomena Romo
Survivor supporter
Vista, CA
 
David Lorenz
VOTF / Bowie
Bowie, MD
 
Dr. Arnie Witchel
Orlando, FL
 
Melvin A. Jurisich, OFM 
Former Minister Provincial
Franciscan Friars
Province of St. Barbara
Malibu, CA
 
Sister Maureen Paul Turlish, SNDdeN
Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur
Victims’ Advocate
Child Victims’ Voice Coalition
http://www.childvictimsvoice.com
 
Jim Vance
Mobile, AL
 
Kenan B. Osborne, OFM
Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology
Berkeley, CA
 
Elsa Granados
Executive Director
Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center
Santa Barbara, CA
Paul A. (Tony) Tonkin
Santa Barbara, CA
Active in Voice of the Faithful/Santa Barbara
 
Kathleen Strittmatter
Voice of the Faithful Leadership
Santa Barbara, CA
 
Thomas A. Connors
Santa Barbara, CA
 
Joanne Uhl
Goleta, CA 
 
Marie Foley
Santa Barbara, CA
 
Charles Rowan
Hollywood, FL
 
Arlene C.
Fargo, ND
Mother of abused son who needs healing
 
Adam Chatsworth
NYC
 
Anonymous
Carpinteria, CA
long live all us suffering souls
 
Ron Carter
Church activist
Trenton, NJ
 
Lonnie Smith
Bakersfield, CA
 
Brenda Lamothe
Los Angeles, CA
surviving the trauma of the abuse
surviving the trauma of saying no more!
 
Richard Cazale
New York, NY
 
Harriet Burke
Santa Barbara, CA
 
Jim Wagner
Whitefish, MT
 
Andrew Fielder
Vancouver, B.C.
Supporter and relative of clergy abuse victim
 
Benjamin V.
Reno, NV
Brother and survivor 
 
T.C.
Las Vegas
 
Nancy
Danville, CA
 
Sarah Vinson
Santa Barbara, CA
 
J.F.D.P.
Dublin, CA
 
Anonymous
Carson City, NV
 
Anonymous
Fallon, NV
 
Jim O'Hara
Forestville, CA 
Former Franciscan seminarian
 
Peg Quinn
teacher/poet/painter
Santa Barbara, CA
 
Connie G.
Mother of survivor
South Dakota
 
Art Karris
Chicago, IL
 
L.C.J.
Survivor and fighter
Sewickely, PA
 
Jason T.
Sedona, AZ
 
C.S.B. 
Survivor
Selma, AL
 
Mary Lipscomb
Churchgoer and progressive Catholic
Philadelphia, PA
 
M.B.
St. Anthony's Seminary
Santa Barbara
 
Charlene Niemi RN
Newbury Park, CA
 
Anonymous (1)
Survivor
Provo, UT
 
Anonymous (2)
Survivor
Provo, UT
 
Anonymous (3)
Survivor
Orem, UT
 
Anonymous (4)
Survivor
Heber City, UT
 
C. K.
Parent of J. K., Survivor (1969 - 2004)
St. Louis, MO
 
Martha (Davis) Whitmore
Parishoner
Lincoln, NB
 
Paul Harris
Classmate and brother
Fargo, ND
 
A.L.C.
Survivor
Santa Barbara, CA