MI- Credibly accused priest won’t be charged, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Tuesday, October 7, 2014
A credibly accused Michigan priest will not be charged for his crimes due to archaic statute of limitation laws. We are disappointed by this and hope church officials will remove him to a remote and secure treatment facility.
Father James Menapace was reported to have sexually abused boys in the late 1990s in the Diocese of Marquette. He has been removed from ministry, but we hope more action is immediately taken to ensure he does not hurt another child.
Often times church officials do the bare minimum after allegations are found credible. But church officials train, ordain, hire, and transfer priests; they have an obligation to prevent them from hurting more children even after they are suspended.
Bishop John F. Doerfler should immediately move Fr. Menapace to a remote and secure treatment facility so that he cannot harm any more children. He should tell parishioners, police, prosecutors and the public where Fr. Menapace is now. He should disclose when the abuse report was made. (We fear it's taken weeks or months for Doerfler to act.) And he should disclose whether other accusations against Fr. Menapace have been made in the past.
We hope anyone who is suffering in silence and self blame will find the courage to speak up, help protect children, and start healing.
(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)
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.
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.