MN- Victims group comments on Twin Cities settlement
For immediate release: Monday, October 13, 2014
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
Evidently, John Doe 1 has settled his civil child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit against the Twin Cities Catholic archdiocese and the Winona diocese.
We applaud John Doe 1 for his courage and his persistence. We especially praise him for his creative use of the public nuisance law to force complicit and self-serving Catholic bureaucrats to disclose records of those who committed and are concealing known and suspected child sex crimes. We hope other victims in other states explore the possibility of using nuisance laws to disgorge the deeply-hidden truth about child molesting clerics and their corrupt colleagues.
Because he was strong enough and brave enough to file suit and seek justice, Doe has been able to extract more secrets from complicit Catholic officials than all but a few abuse victims anywhere. Minnesota citizens and Catholics, including law enforcement officials, owe him an enormous debt of gratitude. We hope he feels proud of himself for all that he has achieved and we hope that his example will prod others who have been assaulted as kids to get help from independent sources and use the time-tested US justice system to protect kids, expose wrongdoers and deter cover ups.
Based on our 25 years of experience, we urge caution regarding the claims by St. Paul archdiocesan officials of "change." We welcome innovative efforts to force Catholic officials to be more responsible about kids' safety and more open about clergy sex crimes and cover ups. At the same time, however, we have repeatedly seen Catholic officials violate their pledges about child protection, even those pledges that may seem to have strong enforcement mechanisms.
(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.