MN - priest speaks out; SNAP responds
For immediate release: Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
We applaud the Twin Cities priest who’s calling on Archbishop John Nienstedt to release a list of proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics. He’s also calling for “new leadership” in the archdiocese.
The former request will definitely help protect kids. The latter request likely will not.
It takes courage to do what Fr. Bill Deziel is doing. We hope his priestly peers will also find the strength to publicly denounce the deliberately deceitful and self-serving actions of the Twin Citeis Catholic hierarchy.
We disagree with Fr. Deziel’s contention, however, that Catholic officials have an “apparent lack of good judgment” deal(ing) “with the offending priests.” That’s soft-selling it. It’s not poor judgment that leads Archbishop Nienstedt, Fr. Kevin McDonough, Fr. Peter Laird and others to hide known and suspected clergy child sex crimes. It’s the tragically justifiable belief that if they aren’t caught, they’ll be valued by their colleagues and superiors and if they are caught, they’ll suffer no consequences anyway. It’s the age old temptation to put one’s own career and reputation above the well-being of others.
We also disagree with him that he’s recommending “drastic steps.” Each of his suggestions is reasonable. They may seem drastic, given how irresponsible so many Catholic prelates are when it comes to the safety of children.
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.