MN-- Hibbing Catholic Priest now faces 5 felony counts
For immediate release Friday, August 28
Statement by northern Minnesota SNAP leader Verne Wagner (firstname.lastname@example.org, 218-340-1277)
A Catholic priest, Fr. Brian Lederer, who was arrested in May of 2015 now faces 5 felony counts. A fourth victim has come forward and child pornography has been found on his personal computer. Lederer is currently free on bail.
What we should ask is whether the seminary where Lederer came from ever suspected or had any documentation showing concerns that this priest was a danger to children. Hibbing, MN was Lederer's first assignment. Did the Duluth Diocese do any background checks on him with the seminary? Last year Fr. Timothy Backus was appointed by Duluth Bishop Paul Sirba to work in Ministry as a Vice President at Essentia Hospital and Associate Pastor at St. Michaels parish in Duluth knowing that he has been credibly accused of molesting a young boy in 1990's. In this day and age and with their past record publicly known how could they not properly perform vetting these men.
Is the Duluth Diocese even doing background checks and if so how?
What did the seminary where Lederer came from know? How did Lederer slip through the churches screening for pedophiles? Do they even do screening and if so how?
Prosecutors need to ask these questions in order to protect our children from future priests. It's well documented that the public cannot depend on Bishop Surba to keep these accused pedophiles out of our towns and away from our children
We beg people to remember charges are not convictions. Now more than ever we urge anyone who have been victimized by Lederer or other clergy to call 911 and report these men. We also ask anyone with knowledge regarding child abuse by clergy to contact law enforcement to help us protect our children.
Lederer was ordained in 2012 and has worked at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Hibbing and the Assumption Catholic School. His photo is available at http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2015/05_06/2015_05_06_PioneerPress_HibbingPriest.htm
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, email@example.com, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), Frank Meuers (952-334-5180, firstname.lastname@example.org), Verne Wagner (218- 340-1277, email@example.com)
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.