MN- Victims call on University to release full report
For immediate release: Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Statement by Verne Wagner of Duluth, Northeast MN (Duluth, MN & Superior, WI) SNAP director (218- 340-1277, email@example.com)
St. Thomas University officials claim they’re blameless in the case of Fr. Michael Keating. No one should believe them until they release the full report of their so-called “investigation.” Even then, people should be skeptical.
First, there’s no “independent” review or investigation when those being investigated pick and pay those doing the investigating. This law firm had no subpoena power. They could see only what university officials said they could see. So it’s at stretch, at best, and inaccurate, at worst, to call this an “investigation.”
Second, if the university did nothing wrong, why conceal the report and release only snippets? On its face, that doesn’t pass the smell test.
Third, if the university unknowingly put its students at risk – by keeping an accused child molester on its staff and campus – it needs to take action. For starters, it needs to work harder to find out whether any student or employee or employee’s children were hurt by Fr. Keating. And it needs to deter future deceit and recklessness by at least publicly denouncing the Catholic archdiocesan officials who acted irresponsibly and protected Fr. Keating while endangering the St. Thomas community.
St. Thomas’ next step is pretty simple – seek out victims, release the full report and chastise the wrongdoers. Otherwise, school officials look timid, insincere and ineffectual.
We urge anyone in the St. Thomas community – whether victim, witness or whistleblower – to speak up now and safeguard innocent kids and vulnerable adults by exposing wrongdoers. We especially call on current and former university employees to act responsibly and share what they know or suspect about Catholic clerics who commit or conceal child sex crimes with the police, prosecutors, parishioners and the public right away.
(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)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, firstname.lastname@example.org),Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com), Frank Meuers of Plymouth (952-334-5180, email@example.com) Verne Wagner (218-340-1277, firstname.lastname@example.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.