MN--Twin Cities Catholic archdiocese is charged; SNAP responds
For immediate release: Friday, June 5
We’re glad the Twin Cities archdiocese is being charged. But the credit goes to brave Minnesota victims who have stepped forward and exposed wrongdoing. Their civil lawsuits, police reports and courage has made this happen.
We believe this is the first time in more than a decade that a Catholic diocese has faced criminal charges.
Catholic officials almost always hire expensive lawyers, exploit every technicality and fight bitterly to protect their clerical careers. We predict that will happen here.
So it’s not time for complacency. Every single man and woman has a moral and civic duty to call prosecutors with what they know or suspect about Twin Cities clergy sex crimes or cover ups, no matter how seemingly insignificant or long ago.
By passing a three year civil window, lawmakers gave victims hope. Victims then filed suits and police reports. And now, a big and powerful Catholic institution faces charges. That’s not ideal but it’s progress.
The cover ups in the Twin Cities are so widely-documented at this point, we believe John Choi had little choice but to pursue the church hierarchy. We’re glad he did. But a charge is not a conviction. So it’s crucial that current and former church staff and members overcome their fears, pick up the phone and call the law, whether they’re victims, witnesses or whistleblowers.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has 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)
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.