MN- Priest charged with child sexual abuse, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Wednesday, May 21, 2014
We applaud Hastings-area law enforcement for thoroughly investigating Fr. Francis Hoefgen, as well as the sex abuse and cover-up documents in his secret personnel file. Were it not for Fr. Hoefgen's brave victims, the public may have never learned the extent of the cleric's crimes. In fact, he would probably still be working with vulnerable children.
In addition to saluting the brave victims in this case, we want to again extend our gratitude to Minnesota lawmakers who passed a civil window for victims of child sex abuse. Because of the window, victims not only get to expose their abuser, but they also get to help law enforcement arrest child sex offenders and put them behind bars. We hope that everyone involved in the cover-up of Fr. Hoefgen's case is also punished to the fullest extent of the law.
St. John's in Collegeville has long housed and harbored proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics. We hope that others who saw, suspected and suffered clergy sex crimes - whether in the St. Paul archdiocese or in Collegeville - will find the courage and strength to call police and prosecutors so that those who commit and conceal these horrors can be charged and convicted.
(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.