MN--Three steps archbishop should take right now
For immediate release: Friday, Jan. 31
Statement by Barbara Dorris of SNAP (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com
On Thursday, one of Archbishop John Nienstedt's public relations staffers said "We have continuously made ourselves available to law enforcement to address any outstanding questions they may have. . ."
On Wednesday, St. Paul's police chief said “We have not had the opportunity to speak with Fr. McDonough.” (McDonough is a key figure in this scandal.)
Someone's lying. We suspect it's a Catholic official, not a law enforcement official. We suspect it's Jim Accurso, not Captain Tom Smith.
It's time for Nienstedt and his staff to fully cooperate, not just claim to cooperate, with police and prosecutor. There are two steps he should take immediately.
First, this week, Ramsey County prosecutors publicly begged victims, especially those who were forced or pressured to sign “gag orders” by church officials, to step forward.
Nienstedt should put this plea in every parish bulletin this Sunday, verbatim, and include contact numbers for local law enforcement agencies.
Second, Niestedt should issue a public statement today promising that he will not in any way retaliate against victims who break those “gag orders.”
Third, he should announce that he's suspended Fr. McDonough and started defrocking him because of McDonough's complicity in decades of cover up and his refusal to answer questions from police.
(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)
SNAP will be Representing Clergy Abuse Survivors in Rome!
We are taking the fight to Rome and are standing up for all survivors on a world stage! From February 19-25, Board President Tim Lennon, Seattle Leader Mary Dispenza, Los Angeles Leader Esther Hatfield Miller and Austin Leader Carol Midboe will be traveling to Rome for Pope Francis' Papal Abuse Summit.
If you are a member of the media and looking to get in touch with these survivors while in Rome, click here for our media advisory and contact information. If you are interested in connecting with a survivor in the US from your area of coverage, please contact one of the SNAP leaders in the US listed below:
- East Coast/DC: Becky Ianni (SNAPvirginia@cox.net, 703-801-6044)
- Midwest/Chicago: Zach Hiner (email@example.com, 517-974-9009)
- Midwest/St. Louis: David Clohessy (firstname.lastname@example.org, 314314-566-9790)
- West Coast / San Francisco: Melanie Sakoda (email@example.com, 925-708-6175)
If you are looking to help spread the word about the importance of this summit and for survivors to be heard, add your voice to the conversation on social media using the hashtag #PBC2019. Be sure to follow SNAP on twitter and Facebook and share our posts, add your comments, and let the world know that we are watching!Learn More