MN- Priest enters not guilty plea, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Friday, September 05, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, firstname.lastname@example.org)
A Hastings-area priest has entered a not guilty plea in a child sexual abuse case. We hope as this case heads to trial any other victims who might be suffering in silence and self-blame will find the courage to speak up.
Fr. Francis Hoefgen is charged with sexually abusing an altar boy while at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish. 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.
We urge anyone who saw, suspects, or suffered child sex crimes to speak up, report to law enforcement, and start healing. Archbishop John Nienstedt should also use his vast resources to encourage victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to come forward and report to secular officials.
(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 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, email@example.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com) Frank Meuers of Plymouth (952-334-5180, firstname.lastname@example.org) Verne Wagner (218-340-1277, email@example.com)
Bob Schwiderski is not affiliated with SNAP. SNAP does not endorse his comments.
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.