MN--As pope comes here, another bishop fights another victim
For immediate release: Monday, Sept. 21
On the very day that Pope Francis lands in the US, a Minnesota bishop will try to block a child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit involving a predator priest who is accused of sexually assaulting at least 26 girls.
New Ulm Bishop John M. LeVoir should be ashamed of himself for seeking to exploit legal technicalities to protect clergy who commit and conceal child sex crimes. But he’s not ashamed. In his eyes, he’s doing what thousands of other Catholic officials do and have done: work shrewdly to keep clergy sex crimes and cover ups covered up. And he’s right.
Pope Francis refuses to change this decades-long immoral practice.
We long for the day when a bishop says “We’ll fight abuse victims on the merits, not on the legal technicalities” or “We’ll let the evidence surface in open court, rather than do all we can to keep a lid on it.”
And we long for the day when a top Vatican official, maybe even the pope himself, will say “We forbid bishops to spend parishioners’ donations to fight against their sexually abused children.”
(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)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, email@example.com, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, firstname.lastname@example.org), Frank Meuers of Plymouth MN (952-334-5180, 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.