MN- More deception from Twin Cities archbishop; SNAP responds
For immediate release: Friday, April 4, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
Again, Archbishop John Nienstedt's been caught being deceptive, claiming to have “offered” information about predator priests to the police while not having done so.
Twin Cities Catholics and citizens deserve straight answers but we doubt they'll get them. Nienstedt should obviously publicly rebuke and sack any and all of his staff who are responsible for this deceit.
"Beginning, last week. . .we offered the police the opportunity to review those (predators') files," Nienstedt's staff claimed. But they refused to provide a list of the 50 police agencies they said they'd contacted. And 11 out of 12 agencies called by MPR News said they had no record of any contacts with the archdiocese in the past two weeks.
New Prague Police Chief Mark Vosejpka did talk to one of Nienstedt's lawyers. He asked to have the information sent to him, but Nienstedt's lawyer told Vosejpka to call him back later.
“It’s all a miscommunication,” Nienstedt's public relations team will insist, if they bother trying to explain at all. That's the standard and much-used claim Catholic officials make almost every time they're caught being deceptive.
Minnesota citizens and officials should judge Catholic officials by what they actually do, not what they claim or pledge or promise. Anything less fosters complacency and endangers kids.
(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)
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.