FL--Predator MN priest now in Florida; Victims respond
For immediate release: Sunday, May 8, 2016
A serial predator priest who was found guilty of abuse by a Minnesota jury has quietly moved to Florida where he at least once visited a St. Petersburg area parish.
This is an outrage. It shows that despite decades of pledges and promises, Catholic bishops continue to do be secretive and reckless about their thousands of child molesting clerics.
St. Pete Bishop Robert Lynch (727-344-1611, firstname.lastname@example.org) and Minnesota Archbishop Bernard Hebda should aggressively reach out to anyone who may have been hurt by Fr. Kapoun. They should use church bulletins, parish websites and pulpit announcements to beg those with information or suspicions about Fr. Kapoun to call police. We believe he can be prosecuted, convicted and jailed, which will safeguard kids and prevent horrific devastation to young lives.
And we believe that Catholic officials in both cities have a duty to make this happen.
Hebda should insist that Fr. Kapoun immediately move to a remote, secure, independent treatment center so kids can be safer. Or Hebda should end all financial support for this dangerous predator.
Lynch should insist that warnings about Fr. Kapoun be read aloud at every mass in the diocese for a month. He should also demote everyone at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Palmetto who played a role in letting this repeat sex offender cleric come to that parish or who kept it secret.
No matter what church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
Lynch’s PR team includes Maria R. Mertens (email@example.com) and Michael J. Tkacik.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has 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)
The Polka Padre and His Troubling Past
Published: Sunday, May 8, 2016 at 11:15 a.m. - Last Modified: Sunday, May 8, 2016 at 11:15 a.m.
PALMETTO — He was known as the Polka Padre, and parishioners across the state of Minnesota couldn’t get enough of his accordion during church services. He was so popular he even put out an album and had his own billboard.
But there was more to Father Robert Kapoun than most people knew, a much darker side, a side that if you read through the allegations in hundreds of pages of court documents is abhorrent.
By 1995, at least six men claimed Kapoun sexually assaulted them between 1966 and ‘81 when they were boys. Kapoun admitted . . .
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.