MN--Predator priest passes away
For immediate release: Thursday, May 28
Statement by Verne Wagner of Duluth, Northeast MN SNAP director (218- 340-1277, email@example.com)
We are glad that a predator priest has passed away and can no longer hurt kids. We’re glad too that his victims can hopefully sleep better at night knowing that he can’t assault any more children.
He is Fr. Richard Eckroth of the Benedictine Catholic order. He mostly lived in Minnesota (St. Cloud, Albany, and St. Joseph) though he was sent to work in the Bahamas and to Maryland for treatment.
Fr. Eckroth was in his 80s and reportedly experienced dementia. But there’s no magic age at which a pedophile is cured so it’s possible that he molested other kids even in his later years.
We hope that all of Fr. Eckroth’s victims – whether hurt long ago or more recently - find the strength and courage to step forward, get help, expose wrongdoing and start healing. And we hope they find consolation.
Now that he’s passed on, we hope St. John’s officials will be more forthcoming about Fr. Eckroth’s crimes and about those who ignored, concealed and enabled them.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has 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 cell, firstname.lastname@example.org), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, email@example.com), Frank Meuers, Minnesota SNAP leader (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.
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.