MN- Catholic officials misinterpret 1st Amendment, SNAP says
For immediate release: Wednesday, June 25, 2014
It's sad to see Catholic officials exploiting and misrepresenting the First Amendment. It protects belief, not actions.
Minnesota church officials say they should get to continue keeping secrets about clergy sex crimes and cover ups because the First Amendment protects them. But we find it very hard to imagine that the Founding Fathers envisioned that provision would be used to shield powerful officials who repeatedly put kids in harms' way.
This isn't complicated. People can think anything they want. They can't, however, do anything they want. That's simple common sense. It's the basis of civilized society.
We hope the judge will reject Minnesota Catholic officials' argument that their callous actions and incriminating records about helping predators and endangering kids should be kept hidden.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have 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.
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.