Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests and other Clergy
September 17, 2007
Members of the Bylaws Workgroup of the Executive Committee
of the Southern Baptist Convention
Dr. Frank Page, President of the Southern Baptist Convention
Dr. Morris Chapman, President of the Executive Committee of the SBC
One year ago, we stood here in front of your building asking for action to make kids safer in Southern Baptist churches. Though there has been much talk since then, we are awaiting real action.
As you know, with a nearly unanimous vote last June, over 8600 Southern Baptist messengers directed this group to study the feasibility of creating a database of ministers who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse, or who have confessed or been legally convicted.
We urge you to set an example of transparency in the study process itself. Be open and transparent about your study’s methodology and resources.
We request that you proactively solicit input from experts and from other religious leaders who have gone down similar roads ahead of you, and that you receive their testimony in a public hearing. We request that you schedule a private hearing to receive testimony from victims.
Over the past year, we have seen far too many reported accounts of Baptist clergy sex abuse combined with church cover-ups. Churches obviously need help. Victims need help too.
An independent, objective review board is essential for the determination of credible accusations, for informing people in the pews about their ministers, for making kids in the future safer, and for compassionately responding to wounded victims.
We implore you, as leaders of the largest Protestant denomination in the land, to find a way to accomplish the mandate given you by Baptist believers and to take action for the protection of kids.
SNAP National Director
SNAP Baptist Outreach Director