MN- Civil lawyers can question McDonough but police can't? SNAP comments
For immediate release: Wednesday, Feb. 12
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
We're glad two top Catholic officials will be deposed about clergy sex crimes and cover ups. But there's something wrong when police cannot question them but civil lawyers can.
We have the deepest respect for law enforcement personnel. But as of just a couple of weeks ago, St. Paul's police chief said his staff have been unable to talk with Fr. Kevin McDonough, who is perhaps the most clearly implicated wrongdoer over his decades of deceit in the archdiocese.
We again call on Twin Cities police and prosecutors to step up their efforts to go after Catholic officials who conceal sex crimes against kids.
And less than a week ago, a Ramsey County grand jury indicted a murder suspect. But when we pushed for a grand jury to investigate cover ups of child sex cases by Catholic officials, we were told that in Minnesota, grand juries are “not typically used” in situations like this. (It's not “typical” to have such obviously long standing, widespread and continuing complicity by top officials in covering up child sex crimes as is happening in the archdiocese.)
We beg Ramsey County's prosecutor to re-consider his position and set up a grand jury.
We first asked for one almost six months ago. We renew this plea now.
We hope we'll soon be proven wrong, but we remain skeptical of claims that law enforcement is doing “everything possible” to investigate and pursue Catholic officials who clearly have – and still are – endangering kids, concealing crimes, stonewalling police, protecting wrongdoers and deceiving parishioners and the public.
(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 15,000 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, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com), Bob Schwiderski of Wayzata (952-471-3422, firstname.lastname@example.org), Frank Meuers of Plymouth (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.