MN- Two new predator priests “outed” today, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Monday, July 21, 2014
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
A new, credibly accused predatory Twin Cities Catholic cleric, Monsignor Jerome Boxleitner, is exposed in today's alarming four-part Minnesota Public Radio series. We hope that every current or former parishioner who spent any time around Boxleitner will ask their children and loved ones if they were hurt by the priest. (MPR reports that “Boxleitner stayed in ministry and remained a prominent Twin Cities leader until his death in 2013.”)
A second credibly accused child molesting cleric, Fr. Gilbert Dutel, has also been publicly exposed for the first time as a predator by MPR. He's still working in a parish today.
Minnesotans owe it to themselves to read the four-part series. Here are a few disturbing “high lights”
--“When they encountered a fellow priest abusing a child, most priests looked the other way.”
--“No reporter cited independent sources for the claim that the archdiocese was a pioneer in confronting clergy sexual abuse. Those assurances came from church leaders, church-paid psychologists and the church's lawyers.”
--“At St. Joseph of the Lakes parish in Lino Lakes, a string of accused priests served for 20 years. One offender served as the pastor and supervised two associate priests, both of whom were also accused of child sexual abuse. After all three men left, another abuser arrived. On and on it went.”
--“Some parishes were served for decades by a series of priests now known to have been accused of child sexual abuse.” St. John the Baptist in New Brighton, for example, had in succession:
Fr. Thomas Stitts, who was later accused of abusing dozens of boys,
Fr. Gerald Grieman, now under criminal investigation for alleged child sexual abuse, and
Fr. Michael Keating who is accused of sexually abusing a teenage girl.
With every new revelation about heinous crimes and continuing cover ups, the tepid actions by Twin Cities law enforcement officials becomes more and more disgusting and untenable. Still, those who saw, suspected, and suffered clergy sex crimes should continue speaking up. It's the only real chance of prodding secular officials to act responsibly and protect kids.
(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)
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.