Letter to Missouri Governor Parson
State of Missouri
Dear Governor Parson,
As you know, our Attorney General Josh Hawley is looking into clergy sex crimes and cover ups in the Missouri Catholic Church. He maintains he can only ask for the voluntary cooperation of the same Church officials who have hidden those crimes for decades.
However, according to Mr. Hawley, you can change this. You can order him to obtain full criminal jurisdiction and use this power to conduct a genuine, thorough inquiry that will expose wrongdoers and protect kids. We beg you to do this immediately.
Why should you do this?
- A respected archive and research group, BishopAccountability.org has identified 114 Catholic clerics in Missouri convicted of, sued for, or publicly accused of child sexual abuse. http://bishop-accountability.org/priestdb/PriestDBbydiocese.html#MO
- An additional 57 have been acknowledged as accused abusers - but not identified by name - by the St. Louis Archdiocese.https://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/faith-and-values/archdiocese-data-give-fuller-accounting-of-st-louis-priest-abuse/article_3776ee89-8779-5534-8b88-52dbd2a1e6db.html
- We strongly believe that the actual number of predator priests in Missouri is dramatically higher than has been reported, as it was in Pennsylvania until the recent Grand Jury Report.
- Untold numbers of predator priests from across the United States have, for decades, been quietly sent to Church-run facilities in Missouri to be "treated." The public is not warned about these men, and the centers are not "locked down." The clergy housed there may well pose a danger to both local Catholics or ordinary citizens.
- Potentially dangerous clerics or former clerics may live and work among unsuspecting neighbors and colleagues.https://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article218753470.html, http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2002-06-21/news/0206210369_1_behan-diocese-of-jefferson-jefferson-city
For far too long, secular authorities in Missouri and elsewhere have played a "hands off" role in clergy sex crimes and cover ups, enabling Church officials to continue quietly moving predators, paying off victims and maintaining dangerous secrecy. The safety of children, the healing of victims, and justice for all affected, demands that this recklessness and secrecy must be exposed, and the wrongdoers must be "outed." Please, Governor Parsons, act now to make sure Missouri's look at clergy sex crimes and cover ups is a source of pride for our state and a source of valuable information for parents, parishioners, prosecutors and the public.
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP)
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.