MN- Evidence shows church officials delayed reporting
For immediate release: Thursday, Jan. 30 2014
Statement by Megan Peterson, Twin Cities SNAP leader, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (218-689-9049 cell, firstname.lastname@example.org)
We are deeply disappointed in Twin Cities law enforcement officials.
Given what's happening in the Twin Cities – now and over the past five months – it is very tough for us to understand why subpoenas and search warrants haven't been used yet.
Police and prosecutors beg victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to step forward, as they should. But police and prosecutors need to respect our pain by doing some real homework on the long-standing, widely-documented and on-going pattern of persistent deceit by Catholic officials – in Minnesota and across the world – in clergy sex abuse and cover up cases.
It speaks volumes that
–- the veteran archdiocesan abuse “handler,” Fr. Kevin McDonough, refuses to be questioned by police, and
–- the archbishop refuses to order McDonough to sit for questioning.
Those two simple and alarming facts scream “cover up” to anyone who's listening.
We could cite many examples, even recent ones (like Bishop Robert Finn in Kansas City), in which high ranking Catholic officials have hidden evidence from law enforcement officials. But look at the case of Fr. Gerald Robinson in Toledo, who is now in prison for brutally murdering a nun.
Police investigators arrested him and asked diocesan staff for Fr. Robinson's personnel file. They were given three pages.
Police then executed two “no knock” search warrants on the diocese. They recovered hundreds and hundreds of pages of more records, records that had never been turned over to the police. Those records led to Fr. Robinson's conviction.
Despite our disappointment, we join with Twin Cities law enforcement in begging those with information or suspicions about clergy sex crimes and cover up to call police and prosecutors. Our justice system isn't perfect. But it's our best chance of protecting kids, exposing criminals and deterring crimes.
Finally, we beg police and prosecutors to stop sugar-coating the truth about the alleged “cooperation” by church officials. Nienstedt and his staff are doing the absolute bare minimum because they fear going to jail. That's self-preservation, not cooperation.
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.