Media Statements

MN - Proven predator priest gets extra pay & no supervision; SNAP responds

For immediate release: Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013

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

Twin Cities Catholic officials are giving extra pay to a predator priest and refusing to supervise him even though he was found guilty of child sex crimes at a trial.

http://www.sctimes.com/article/20131009/NEWS01/310090022/For-an-accused-Cold-Spring-priest-retirement-income-came-premium

In 1996, a jury declared Fr. Robert Kapoun guilty of molesting Dale Scheffler. 

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PA - Predator priest’s bail is reduced; SNAP worries

For immediate release: Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013

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

We are disappointed and worried by the bail reduction for Fr. Robert L. Brennan.

http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/local&id=9279874                     

Kids are safest when predators are jailed. And despite Fr. Brennan’s long ties to Philadelphia, we fear he may flee overseas if given a chance, knowing that he likely faces a long sentence if convicted.

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MN- Police re-open investigation of priest

For immediate release: Tuesday, Oct. 8 2013

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

We are grateful this step has been taken – the re-opening of the investigation into Fr. Jonathan Shelley’s alleged child porn - but we're confused as to why law enforcement officials weren't more aggressive about this case to begin with. And are outraged that Catholic officials refused to turn over evidence to police when asked to do so.

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MI - Ex Detroit bishop is in firestorm of controversy

For immediate release: Tuesday, October 8, 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)

Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt, formerly of Detroit, is coming under fire for ignoring and concealing the alleged child sex crimes of at least two Minnesota priests - Fr. Jonathan Shelley and Fr. Curtis Wehmeyer.

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PA - 19 more Sandusky suits settle

For immediate release: Tuesday, October 8, 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)

These settlements close no chapter in this sad saga. More remains hidden about which and how Penn State officials ignored and concealed Sandusky's crimes.

While these checks may help some victims heal, they shed no light on the crucial questions about cover ups. That will only happen through criminal and civil trials, which we hope will happen soon.

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AK - Alaska man is sentenced

Sex abuse victims seek help from Anchorage citizens

"Speak up if you saw, suspected or suffered his misdeeds," SNAP says

For immediate release: Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013

For more information: David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com)

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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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