MN - SNAP to Catholics: “Don’t donate until Fr. McDonough is defrocked”
For immediate release: Wednesday December 18, 2013
Statement by Bob Schwiderski, SNAP Minnesota director (952 471 3422, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Enough is enough. Catholic officials should start defrocking Fr. Kevin McDonough. And Catholic parishioners should donate elsewhere until this happens.
Fr. McDonough knows more about clergy sex crimes and cover ups than anyone else in the archdiocese. His name and fingerprints are on many church records about concealing known and suspected crimes.
But the final straw came late yesterday when St. Paul’s police chief named Fr. McDonough as one of the archdiocesan clerics who refuse to be questioned by police.
By this decision, Fr. McDonough has lost any shred of or claim to any moral authority he may have once had.
And by tolerating this, Archbishop Nienstedt and Bishop Piche - and every other chancery office staffer - are also besmirching themselves and the church they purport to love.
It’s absurd for them to claim that they “cannot speak for Fr. McDonough and his choice not to speak with the police.”
Fr. McDonough isn’t some renegade. He’s long been a key “inside player” in the archdiocesan headquarters.
And the church isn’t a loosely-knit hippie commune. It’s a rigid hierarchy in which priests promise lifelong obedience to their archbishop. So why isn’t Archbishop Nienstedt ordering Fr. McDonough to sit down with the police?
Finally, last night, archdiocesan officials issued yet another statement professing that it “wants to cooperate” with authorities. That’s obviously baloney.
If you want to cooperate, you do so. You don’t wait for a formal letter or request or public criticism from your town’s highest ranking police officer.
They also claim that they hope to "better understand the (police department’s) requests for information in greater detail." That’s baloney too.
If you don’t understand a request, you ask for clarity. You don’t delay and pretend you’re confused.
Catholic officials are well-educated. They hire legions of well-educated lawyers. And police are not known for being vague about what they want. So this implication – that somehow this is just a lack of clarity – is yet another blatant public relations maneuver.
Until the Catholic hierarchy – in St. Paul or elsewhere – start defrocking Fr. McDonough, we beg church members to stop donating to Catholic institutions and donate instead to other agencies and churches. It is simply wrong to ignore this kind of blatant wrongdoing by Catholic officials and merrily go about our business as if nothing is dramatically wrong.
We especially appeal to those who attend parishes where Fr. McDonough has worked to do so. And we urge religious leaders in other denominations to denounce Fr. McDonough and his supervisors and to distance themselves from this corrupt bunch. By doing so, these religious figures may deter similar selfish and secretive and irresponsible behavior in the future.
It matters less to us who starts the defrocking process – whether it’s the archbishop or his auxiliary bishop or some other church official. It matters most to us that someone in the Catholic hierarchy show a bit of spine and move to defrock – or at least discipline and demote – this corrupt cleric.
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747,SNAPblaine@gmail.com) Bob Schwiderski, SNAP Minnesota director (952 471 3422, 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.
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.