MI--SNAP: “Is he letting other accused abusers work in parishes?”
Victims seek help from prelates
“Each MI bishop should do outreach,” SNAP says
Their colleague is accused of abusing seminarians
Group also wants Kalamazoo bishop to hold meeting
SNAP: “Is he letting other accused abusers work in parishes?”
“He should explain his decision & answer questions,” they say
And group wants Battle Creek priest disciplined “for deception”
Holding signs at a sidewalk news conference, abuse victims and concerned Catholics will hand-deliver a letter and publicly urge Michigan bishops to seek out anyone who may have been hurt by a now-disgraced Twin Cities Archbishop. In addition to endangering children by covering up sex crimes, the archbishop allegedly made “unwanted sexual advances” toward at least six seminarians when he led a Detroit school for prospective priests.
The victims will also urge Kalamazoo’s bishop to:
--hold an open meeting to explain why he let an accused archbishop work in the Kalamazoo diocese,
--discipline the Battle Creek pastor who was deceptive about the move, and
--reveal whether he’s letting other sexually troubled or complicit clerics into his parishes.
And the victims will also urge “anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered sexual misdeeds, crimes or cover ups” to “call police, expose wrongdoing and protect others.”
Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 1:15 p.m.
In Kalamazoo, on the sidewalk outside the Kalamazoo Catholic diocesan headquarters (a.k.a. “chancery’) 215 N Westnedge Ave. (corner of Eleanor St.) 269-349-8714
Four - five members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, including aChicago woman who is the organization’s founder and president
In a hand-delivered letter, victims of sexual abuse are asking that Michigan’s bishops “come clean” and hold a public meeting about a disgraced archbishop who has also been accused of making “unwanted sexual advances” against students at a Detroit seminary.
Last week, the disgraced Twin Cities archbishop John Clayton Nienstedt was removed from a temporary position in a Battle Creek Parish after the media and SNAP informed the public and parishioners about the clerics’ past.http://ncronline.org/news/accountability/archbishop-nienstedt-exits-early-battle-creek-mich-parish
In addition to covering up child sexual abuse in Minnesota, Nienstedt has also been accused of making "unwanted sexual advanced” against at least six seminarians while he was rector at the Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.http://www.startribune.com/former-seminarian-accuses-nienstedt-of-retaliation-over-rebuff/308571111/
Members of SNAP are asking Michigan’s Bishops, especially Kalamazoo Bishop Paul Bradley, to hold a public meeting to address parishioners and victims concerns. They also want the bishop to punish the pastor of the parish, who mislead parishioners about Nienstedt’s past.
"Despite extensive press coverage and your knowledge of the six men and their credible allegations—as well as Nienstedt’s well-documented role in the cover-up of child sexual abuse in the Twin Cities—the bishop of Kalamazoo allowed Nienstedt to act as a priest in a parish,” the letter says. "Bishop Bradley also did nothing when the pastor at that parish was deceptive to parishioners about Nienstedt’s past. In the parish bulletin. Fr. John Fleckenstein did not inform parishioners in Battle Creek about Nienstedt’s past in the Twin Cities or Detroit. Parishioners only learned about the risk of that Nienstedt poses through the media and SNAP.”
The group also wants the bishops to reach out to anyone who may experienced, seen or suspected abuse. .
“It’s incumbent on YOU to do everything possible to get to the bottom of these accusations and help those who are suffering. You must do everything possible to make sure the Nienstedt is not allowed to work with vulnerable populations and that your colleagues and priests do not mislead the public about his past,” the letter says.”
David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, firstname.lastname@example.org, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747,email@example.com)
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.
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.