MN--Pedophile priest case heads to trial
For immediate release: Thursday, Jan. 8
Statement by Frank Meuers of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (952-334-5180, email@example.com)
At least one Twin Cities clergy sex abuse and cover up case will go to trial on Jan. 26, attorneys say. (See http://noakerlaw.com/ )
We are grateful that local Catholics and citizens will learn more about current and former Catholic officials who recklessly and callously put kids in harm’s way. And we hope that anyone with information about the alleged child molesting cleric will speak up at this critical juncture so that justice may be done.
The trial involves Fr. Thomas Stitts. The St. Paul/Minneapolis archdiocese is a defendant. The victim’s attorneys, including Patrick Noaker of Minneapolis, insist that it will NOT settle.
Fewer than 40 of these cases have ever gone to trial. So only a few dozen Catholic officials have ever been forced to answer tough questions under oath in an open court room about their role in hiding clergy sex crimes and quietly moving proven, admitted and credibly accused predator priests.
Those questions are key to showing parishioners and the public just how irresponsible Catholic officials are when it comes to children’s safety. We applaud the courageous victim in this case who clearly wants the truth to be known, even though the trial will no doubt be brutal for him.
We beg Archbishop John Nienstedt to forbid his lawyers from mean-spirited and unnecessary attacks on this victim. (Catholic officials essentially admitted Fr. Stitts faced several credible accusers when they permanently ousted him from ministry.)
Again, we beg anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by Fr. Stitts or cover ups by Catholic officials to come forward now. It’s crucial that the full truth about this scandal be revealed so that the vulnerable will be protected, the guilty will be exposed, more cover ups be prevented and the wounded be healed.
Fr. Stitts’ photo and work history are at BishopAccountability.org
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 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)
Contact - David Clohessy, 314-566-9790, firstname.lastname@example.org, Barbara Dorris 314-503-0003, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org, Barbara Blaine 312-399-4747, bblaine@SNAPnetwork.org Verne Wagner, 218-525-1694, 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.
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.