MN archbishop's answer: "I'll hire more lawyers"
For immediate release: Thursday, October 24
David Clohessy, Director, SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, (7234 Arsenal Street, St. Louis MO 63143), 314 566 9790 cell (SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
In response to scandal stemming from secrecy, Archbishop John Nienstedt proposes more secrecy.
He does one thing today – he promises hiring more lawyers. That’s all. The rest of his column is just more promises from a powerful prelate who keeps breaking old promises.
Here’s the only real change: Soon the number of hand-picked, church-paid lawyers looking at predators' files will go from six or eight to 12 or 14. That's not progress.
Those files – all of them – must be turned over to law enforcement. Despite his protestations to the contrary, this is “clear” to Nienstedt. But he refuses to do it.
It doesn't matter if they're paid permanently or temporarily by Nienstedt. The lawyers he picks aren't police or prosecutors. They're regular employees or contract employees. They're beholden to him. And they'll help him keep his secrets secret, as church lawyers have virtually always done. (The one exception, obviously, is Jennifer Haselberger.)
The job now isn’t adults “feeling peace” or their “trust” being “restored.” The job now is protecting kids. Nienstedt’s words don’t do that. His actions might. But he refuses to take concrete steps to safeguard children. And he is refusing again today to do that.
None of Nienstedt words today protect one kid, expose one predator, discipline one enabler, uncover one cover up or deter one crime.
SNAP will be Representing Clergy Abuse Survivors in Rome!
We are taking the fight to Rome and are standing up for all survivors on a world stage! From February 19-25, Board President Tim Lennon, Seattle Leader Mary Dispenza, Los Angeles Leader Esther Hatfield Miller and Austin Leader Carol Midboe will be traveling to Rome for Pope Francis' Papal Abuse Summit.
If you are a member of the media and looking to get in touch with these survivors while in Rome, click here for our media advisory and contact information. If you are interested in connecting with a survivor in the US from your area of coverage, please contact one of the SNAP leaders in the US listed below:
- East Coast/DC: Becky Ianni (SNAPvirginia@cox.net, 703-801-6044)
- Midwest/Chicago: Zach Hiner (firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-974-9009)
- Midwest/St. Louis: David Clohessy (email@example.com, 314314-566-9790)
- West Coast / San Francisco: Melanie Sakoda (firstname.lastname@example.org, 925-708-6175)
If you are looking to help spread the word about the importance of this summit and for survivors to be heard, add your voice to the conversation on social media using the hashtag #PBC2019. Be sure to follow SNAP on twitter and Facebook and share our posts, add your comments, and let the world know that we are watching!Learn More