KS- Predator priest dies; SNAP responds
For immediate release: Friday, Sept. 5, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, firstname.lastname@example.org)
A notorious Wichita serial predator priest, Fr. Robert K. Larson passed away on Aug. 27. Catholic officials kept this secret, however, until yesterday.
We're sad that Wichita's bishop hid Larson's passing until it was convenient for him to release it. We hope Larson's death will provide some comfort to the hundreds who were hurt by his crimes against at least 17 children.
Crimes by Larson and cover ups by his Catholic supervisors attracted national attention in 2002. We are grateful and will always be grateful to the courageous victims who helped expose, prosecute and convict Larson. Our hearts ache for them and their families, especially the Pattersons, who worked tirelessly to protect other children and comfort other victims from coast to coast.
Wichita's bishop should personally visit every parish where Larson worked and beg his flock to help him find and console every single child who was assaulted by this admitted criminal. We are sure the bishop will issue a statement expressing “sadness.” But that's a public relations move, not a pastoral one. A truly compassionate shepherd would aggressively reach out to those in pain using every means possible, not just a terse, conveniently timed press release.
We urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered crimes by Larson – or other Wichita clerics, Catholic or Protestant – to get help, seek justice and start healing. No one benefits when victims stay silent.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years 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)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, email@example.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
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.