For immediate release: Friday, Oct. 18, 2013
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
At first, there were no signs of Fr. Keating committing misconduct with adults.
Now, there are several.
And at first, there were recommendations that restrictions be put on Fr. Keating.
Now there is proof that those recommendations were ignored, says Minnesota Public Radio.
And now there’s evidence that archdiocesan officials take reports of suspected child sex crimes from their own priests just as casually as they do reports by victims themselves.
Many Catholic officials refuse to follow secular law. Many refuse to follow their own church abuse policies. So it should surprise no one that they also refuse to follow recommendations by Archbishop John Nienstedt’s hand-picked abuse panel.
For starters, the lay Catholics whose recommendations were apparently ignored should speak up. They should identify themselves and publicly criticize Archbishop Nienstedt, Fr. Kevin McDonough and every other Catholic official who knew about but ignored their recommendations.
Next, retired Archbisohp Harry Flynn, Fr. Kevin McDonough or St. Thomas staffer Don Briel must clear the air. “It was recommended to Archbishop Harry Flynn that Keating not be allowed to mentor teenagers and young adults,” new church documents reveal. But “the recommendation was not followed” and Keating kept “teaching young adults at the university,” and “it's unclear whether Flynn rejected the recommendation and never passed it along to the university or if university officials knew of the recommendation and disregarded it,” MPR reports. One of the three must speak up. Otherwise, someone will be unfairly smeared.
Third, Fr. Kevin McDonough should not resign from the St. Thomas board. He should be forced out.
Fourth, since it’s clear that one of Nienstedt’s hand-picked abuse panels is ineffective, we should be prudent and assume that his new one will be too.
So fourth, every person who ever saw, suspected or suffered clergy misconduct – whether child sex abuse, adult exploitation or cover ups (passive or active) – should look in the mirror and decide whether he or she wants to remain part of the problem or become part of the solution. Becoming part of the solution means telling someone outside of the church – a therapist, a relative, a friend, a cop, a prosecutor or a support group like ours.
Everyone OUTSIDE US Catholic Church leadership, however, knows really what this behavior and conduct is: SEXUAL ABUSE.
Philadelphia Police Dept.