MN--Victims: Don't donate to predator priest's "healing center"
For immediate release: Thursday, Sep. 10
Statement by Frank Meuers, Minnesota SNAP leader, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (952-334-5180, firstname.lastname@example.org)
We urge Catholics and citizens to donate to non-profits with proven records in preventing abuse and healing victims, not to the facility a convicted Minnesota predator priest and others are trying to set up.
We fear that recent publicity about Fr. Gilbert Gustafson’s planned “healing center” will bring more donations to this effort. That would, in our view, be unfortunate.
Giving power and prestige to an admitted serial predator is reckless. But it will also likely encourage other predators to work harder to rehab their reputations and seek power and prestige. And we know that predators often use their power and prestige into befriend parents, groom kids and abuse again.
Just like an alcoholic shouldn’t seek a brewery job, a predator shouldn’t seek a position of power over others, especially already-vulnerable and still-wounded victims of childhood sexual abuse.
We outline other concerns about the project here:
If you care about prevention, donate to groups that expose child molesters.
If you care about healing, donate to groups that set up support groups or provide therapy.
If you care about exposing cover ups, donate to groups that help expose cover ups.
And if you care about your donations being effective, donate to groups with proven track records.
But please don’t take a chance by donating to this project involving Fr. Gustafson, a convicted predator who’s admitted molesting three youngsters and likely hurt even more.
(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)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, email@example.com, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), Frank Meuers (952-334-5180, firstname.lastname@example.org), Verne Wagner (218- 340-1277, 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.