MI- Marquette Catholic officials hid allegations for 14 years
For immediate release: Thursday, September 25, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, firstname.lastname@example.org)
For at least 14 years, Marquette Catholic officials have kept credible child sex abuse allegations against a priest hidden from parishioners and the public. We are outraged.
Last night, Loreene Zeno Koskey, the spokesperson for Bishop John Doerfler, admitted this.
At least several (and perhaps a dozen) of church officials kept silent about these serious and credible accusations for a dozen years despite a national abuse policy, adopted in 2002, that mandates “transparency and openness” in clergy sex cases.
Heads should roll. Bishop Doerfler should harshly, immediately and publicly fire or punish every single church employee who knew of or suspected abuse by Fr. James Menapace or the alleged “discipline” of Fr. Menapace in 2000 by Marquette's then-Bishop James Garland (who is now retired).
(The bishop is at 906 227 9115, 800 562 9745, ext. 115, email@example.com)
We again call on Doerfler – as we did months ago to warn parents, parishioners and the public about a former Marquette priest, Fr. Benedict Van der Putten, who was defrocked due to credible child sex abuse allegations and now lives among unsuspecting families in Hawaii.
Doerfler should immediately post on the Marquette diocesan website the names, photos and whereabouts of every proven, admitted and credibly accused Catholic child molesting cleric who has ever worked or lived in the diocese. (Roughly 30 US bishops have done this. It’s the quickest way to protect kids), and use his bully pulpit and diocesan resources to aggressively seek out individuals who were hurt by the ten credibly accused predator priests in the diocese.
And again, first and foremost, the bishop should fire or oust everyone on his staff who endangered kids and kept this information hidden from those who needed it most: unsuspecting parents.
We hope anyone who was hurt by Fr. Menapace and is suffering in silence and self blame will find the courage to speak up, expose wrongdoers, 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.