MI--Detroit priest is accused of abuse
For immediate release: Tuesday, March 29
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, 314 645 5915 home, firstname.lastname@example.org)
In an extraordinarily vague and short announcement, Detroit Catholic officials admit that a priest is a credibly accused child molester. But they refuse to disclose his whereabouts or aggressively seek out others he has hurt. Shame on them.
We hope that others with information or suspicions about Fr. Ronald Lauinger will come forward and seek help from independent sources.
Archbishop Allen Vigneron and Ned McGrath, one of his public relations officials, won’t say whether Lauinger hurt boys or girls, when or where the crimes happened or disclose any real helpful information. They won’t say when church officials first received a report of these crimes or how long it took church officials to substantiate them. They are doing the absolute bare minimum while leaving other kids in harm’s way by being so secretive.
We urge Vigneron, McGrath and other Detroit church staff to change their minds and disclose Lauinger’s whereabouts so that parents can be warned and families can be protected.
We urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions – especially in Detroit – to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling journalists, get justice by calling attorneys, and get comfort by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has 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.
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.