An Episcopal priest who was removed from the priesthood in 1992 has now been accused of sexually abusing a child. Anglican officials must use all resources at their disposal to warn parents and parishioners and encourage others who may have been hurt by the priest to come forward and get help.
According church officials from the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts, Bruce Wirtz has been accused of sexually abusing a child while he worked at St. Peter’s Church in Springfield, MA in the 1970s. Though Wirtz passed away in 2007, we believe that it is likely that there could be still-suffering victims who have yet to come forward. We call on Episcopal church officials to use all available resources to share this news and encourage those with information to come forward.
Church officials indicate they have already informed parishioners at each location where Wirtz worked. We are grateful that they have taken this step and hope that they will keep the information about Wirtz prominently displayed on parish websites and in parish bulletins, alongside lists of local resources for survivors of sexual abuse and information on how victims can report to police.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Reprinted with permission