MN- Nienstedt won't punish "enablers;" SNAP responds
For immediate release: Tuesday, April 22, 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)
In our view, here's the most important admission in Archbishop John Nienstedt 's deposition.
Anderson: Have you at any time reprimanded, punished, demoted or taken any disciplinary action against any priest or official of the archdiocese for their mishandling of child sexual abuse allegations?
Nienstedt: I don't believe so, no.
Anderson: Do you believe you should have?
Look at a few undisputed facts:
There are 52 publicly accused Twin Cities child molesting clerics. (See BishopAccountability.org)
There are more who have not yet been publicly exposed.
Many have stayed hidden for years or even decades.
Many have molested more victims because Twin Cities Catholic staff have ignored or concealed their crimes.
Many have been “outed” only because of courageous victims, skilled police and smart journalists.
Some have been on the job or unsupervised until very recently.
Despite all of this, Nienstedt cannot bring himself to even slap the hand of one of his employees for helping predators, hurting victims, deceiving parishioners, stonewalling police, misleading prosecutors or endangering kids.
Not Bishop Lee Piché, Fr. Kevin McDonough, Fr. Jonathan Shelley, Fr. Peter Laird, Tom Wieser, Jim Accurso, Greta Sawyer, Archbishop Harry Flynn, Andrew Eisenzimmer. . .no one.
That's the real reason why clergy sex crimes and cover ups continue in the Twin Cities - no one who could or should stop them – by telling the truth or calling the cops – is ever punished, not even to the slightest degree.
And Nienstedt, to this day, denies that any of them should be.
This speaks volumes about the unwillingness of top Catholic officials to take the most simple and effective step to stop the cover ups of clergy sex crimes: disciplining those who cover up.
This deposition proves what we in SNAP have long said: Kids will be safer when every single person who sees, suspects or suffers clergy sex crimes sand cover ups speaks up and calls law enforcement and when law enforcement vigorously investigates and prosecutes both those who commit and those who conceal this horror. Reform is not happening and will not happen within the Catholic hierarchy.
Finally, Nienstedt fought against this deposition. Nienstedt fought against its release. And Nienstedt is fighting this entire lawsuit. It's stunningly cynical for him to keep promising “transparency” in clergy sex cases.
(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), Frank Meuers of Plymouth (952-334-5180,firstname.lastname@example.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.