Activism in Your Town Too!
Hello, I am a Boston area survivor and seem to be on a mission from God. All of us are for the kids and for those who are unable to come forward to claim justice.
Welcome to our site--and your mission, should you choose to accept it. Unity, Tenacity, Purpose, Energy, Anger, and Resolve are all qualities that we employed to get results on December 13, 2002, the date of Cardinal Law's resignation. This page includes hints on how to succeed in our common goal of holding the Catholic Church accountable for its crimes. Draw on the strengths and creative gifts of yourself and of those around you.
Don't let the small numbers of protestors deter you from your mission. Some of our greatest prophets walked alone.
A short video has been prepared to illustrate the essence of our story. It is important to watch this tape. It shows that STTOP is a different kind of activist group. For example, below are minutes from one of our formal meetings. Most of our meetings are informal and held on the sidewalks in front of the cathedrals.
October 5, 2002
- We went around the room and voiced what we would like the goals of the group to be/why we became involved:
- against child abuse by priests
- lack of integrity by clergy
- to support survivors
- to express outrage against the churchs'handling of this crisis
- to force Law out of the Archdiocese of Boston
- to expose bishops and pedophile priests
- to make the Church hierarchy accountable for crimes against humanity
- to support and endorse events of other agencies at the cathedral
- to support survivors as they use their voice
- welcome other groups who have the same goals - power in numbers
- to care about individuals as human beings. If the group becomes more important than the individuals then people may not continue.
- as a place to express emotions, be safe and not destructive, a place to release energy in a productive manner
- being at the cathedral is important to the group
- challenge priests to have the same moral fiber as we do
- The group is comprised of individuals who support the above ideas and goals. Each person is the leader of the group and as such may express anything he or she would like to the press, etc. Others in the group will accept this as all members being true to themselves and speaking truth to power--our central themes.
- We spoke about visiting other areas where issues have arisen and possibly the need for support. The consensus was that although others need our support, our first mission is to the people of our area and to GET LAW OUT! We will put all requests on the website for those who are able to make various events. No one should feel pressured to attend any event as we are all trying our best to juggle the aspects of our busy lives.
- Events/projects: use the above minutes as a template to create a STTOP chapter in your city.
It has become apparent that this catastrophe, perpetrated by the Catholic hierarchy, is not going away. The American Catholic bishops--198 of them--have shuffled priests around for decades, knowing they were abusing children.
Bishops' tactics continue in an attempt to contain this scandal in a way that maintains favorable relationships with authorities and secrecy with the laity. This continues today at the expense of victims of clergy sexual abuse and their families--not to mention the moral identity of our country.
Here are some suggested actions for you and your new group:
- Work on legislative response tactics. Contact your legislators to amend statutes of limitations for child abuse and to amend other laws to ensure protection of children and vulnerable adults.
- Get in the face of your Bishop by planning protests, vigils and marches to demand resignations.
- Collaborate with area child protection agencies, and other groups supportive of our cause.
- Work with local victim advocate groups (SNAP, LINK-UP, STTOP, VOTF, and others) to empower survivors to work towards their own goals.
- Keep the pressure on your local District Attorney's office by picketing, e-mail, regular mail, and phone calls when they fall short of their elected duties.
- Pursue civil lawyers who are willing to assist with the release of ALL church files to the public.
DO NOT TRUST ANY CHURCH PERSONNEL OR AGENTS. RELY ON CIVIL PROCEDURES AND CRIMINAL LAWS. KNOW THE RIGHTS AFFORDED YOU BY THE CONSTITUTION.
See the links provided elsewhere on this site to get signs, buttons, and bumper stickers as well as contacts to aid your new STTOP group. KEEP IN TOUCH! WE ALL NEED EACH OTHER. We are glad to help 24/7.
Copyright © 2002 STTOP
All rights reserved.