MN - Even more damning evidence of archdiocesan cover up; SNAP responds

For immediate release: Monday, Oct. 7, 2013

Statement by Bob Schwiderski of SNAP (952 471 3422, skibrs@q.com)

“There is no record of anyone contacting police. (Archbishop Harry) Flynn allowed (Fr. Jonathan) Shelley to return to ministry.” Those two damning sentences are from the latest disturbing Minnesota Public Radio report outlining the secretive, irresponsible and likely illegal way Twin Cities Catholic officials hid thousands of pornographic pictures on Fr. Jonathan Shelley’s computer.

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/collections/catholic-church/2013/10/07/new-documents-show-church-leaders-debated-legality-of-priests-pornography/

Fr. Shelley’s computers should have been given to law enforcement at the first hint of sexual impropriety. But MPR reports that in 2004 “a private investigator that found that many of the depictions" on Fr. Shelley’s computer “could be considered borderline illegal, because of the youthful-looking male image.” That too should have prompted Catholic officials to give the computers to police.

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MN - Archbishop's panel is just PR

For immediate release: Sunday, Oct. 6

Statement by Bob Schwiderski of Wayzata, Minnesota SNAP director (952 471 3422, skibrs@q.com)

Nienstadt is using a pathetic public relations maneuver to distract and mollify outraged parishioners – the creation of a new panel to look at church abuse guidelines. It’s probably a smart PR move. But it won’t help protect kids or expose complicity.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/173842766/Pulpit-Announcement-10-5-13

The behavior of church officials, not their policies and procedures, is the problem. And no words on paper will change the self-serving, secretive and recklessness of top Catholic officials. Only public exposure and harsh punishment can do this.

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MN - Prosecutor to investigate MN clergy sex crimes, SNAP responds

For immediate release: Friday, October 4, 2013

Statement by Barbara Dorris, SNAP Outreach Director, 314-862-7688 SNAPdorris@gmail.com

We are grateful that a Minnesota prosecutor is investigating the alarming Fr. Jonathan P. Shelley case, in which several high ranking Twin Cities Catholic officials kept thousands of images of child pornography on a priest's computer were kept for a decade from law enforcement. We hope other county prosecutors in Minnesota open similar investigations into clergy sex crimes and cover ups in Minnesota.

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IL - Cardinal George insults Catholics with spurious claim, SNAP responds

For immediate release: Friday, Oct. 4, 2013

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)

Cardinal Francis George is being deliberately deceitful and insulting the intelligence of Chicago Catholic officials. He claims that he can’t stop a priest from counseling grieving adults and kids for a police department.

Specifically, through one of his public relations staffers, that he “has no authority to remove” Fr. Robert Stepek from his job in Burbank.

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NJ - Trenton priest is suspended; SNAP responds

For immediate release: Thursday, Oct. 3

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)

We firmly believe that Fr. Matthew Riedlinger is being suspended now only because these brave victims spoke up and because O'Connell fears that media attention will bring even more victims forward.

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MN - Victims “not impressed” with Catholic official’s resignation

For immediate release: Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)

The resignation of the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocesan vicar general is pure public relations. It’s a desperate move to reassure justifiably outraged Catholics. But it’s not real reform.

The problem starts at the top and is rampant throughout the archdiocesan hierarchy – a long-standing, deeply -rooted and on-going obsession with preserving the reputations of clerics, not the safety of kids.

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VT, AL - Sex offender wins controversial ruling

He lived in Vermont and Birmingham suburb & won decision in New York

For immediate release: Friday, Oct. 4           

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)

A convicted sex offender who lived in Vermont has won a court ruling in New York that means he won't have to submit to a test to determine whether he's attracted to underage girls. He is David McLaurin.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/2013/10/03/court-penile-stimulation-test-unnecessary/psk8AqPtup6L6opP4wQXWJ/story.html

Everyone, even pedophiles, deserves his humanity. But the humanity of a predator doesn't trump the humanity of innocent kids.

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MN - Twin Cities priest scandal is “worst yet,” SNAP says

For immediate release: Friday, Oct. 4, 2013

Statement by Bob Schwiderski of Wayzata, Minnesota Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (skibrs@q.com, 952 471 3422)

A police report says that top officials at the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese withheld evidence of child porn and now the alleged sex offender can’t be criminally charged.

http://www.twincities.com/crime/ci_24234106/hugo-priest-possessed-child-porn-archdiocese-withheld-evidence

And for a decade, several archdiocesan staffers hid the alleged child porn from parents, parishioners and the public. 

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NY- Sex offender wins ruling on controversial test

For immediate release: Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)

A convicted sex offender who lived in Vermont and Alabama has won a court ruling in New York that means he won't have to submit to a test to determine whether he's attracted to underage girls.

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A Letter to Cardinal George regarding Fr. Robert Stepek

Cardinal Francis George

Archdiocese of Chicago

835 N Rush St

Chicago IL 60611

 

October 3, 2013

Dear Cardinal George:

We belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. 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 mission is to heal the wounded and protect the vulnerable.

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MO - Child porn priest / diocese case settles

For immediate release: Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Statement by Barbara Dorris, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)

We hope this settlement comforts at least some of the many families who have suffered and are suffering because Bishop Robert Finn refused to call police, protect kids and monitor Fr. Shawn Ratigan.

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Vatican overrules Cardinal George re predator priest

For immediate release: Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, president of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com)

A “permanently” suspended predator priest will be restored as “a priest in good standing” because Vatican bureaucrats have overruled Chicago church figures and claim that they can’t “find evidence strong enough to merit a judgment that (he) had sexually abused a minor.”

The cleric is Fr. Robert A. Stepek. Cardinal George should put him in a remote, secure treatment center immediately, so that kids will be safer. And every single Catholic church employee and church member - current and former – who saw, suspected or suffered crimes or misdeeds by Fr. Stepek should step forward.

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