NJ–Predator priest gets probation
We are sad that Fr. Marukudiyil Velan, known as “Fr. Chris,” will not do jail time. But we are grateful to the brave family that reported this priest’s crimes. And we are confident that this mom’s courage to speak up and to seek justice will protect more people.
Often trusted members of the clergy are given “light” sentences and then free to move into unsuspecting communities where they pose a very real danger.
We are especially grateful that this brave mom reported what happened to her and allegedly to her children to secular officials, not church officials. Both her courage to speak up and her wisdom to seek justice will protect more people.
This is not the time to become complacent. Predators often assault more than one victim. Church officials should reach out to any other possible victims or witnesses.
We have a simple message to every current and former Catholic Church employee and member: It’s never too late to share what you know or suspect with law enforcement officials. It’s up to us to pass on information. And it’s up to police and prosecutors to determine what will help them further prosecute or imprison a criminal.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 and have more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)