MN- Victims to archdiocese: say more about 'investigations'
For immediate release: Friday, February 21, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
Minnesota Public Radio and Twin Cities Catholic officials disagree over whether or not 28 clergy who are accused of molesting kids should be publicly named. Here's a simple compromise.
Bishop Piché and Bishop Cozzens, who now head the St. Paul/Minnesota archdiocese, should disclose when each of the allegations against these 28 clerics were made. That information violates no one's privacy – neither the accused nor the accuser.
That information would, we suspect, show that Catholic officials drag their feet and take months or even years to determine whether an accusation is “not manifestly false or frivolous.”
We could be wrong. It could be that all 28 of these allegations were made to church officials in the last two or three months. In that case, we'll gladly apologize. But we predict that these cases have languished for far too long in the self-serving church bureaucracy.
At the same time, Catholic officials should publicly admit what many of them have said privately for years – that few child sex reports against priests prove to be false.
While claiming to be "open," Twin Cities Catholic officials basically refuse to be interviewed by journalists about abuse and cover up reports, repeatedly choosing instead to hide behind carefully-crafted written statements. Shame on them. If they aren't covering up, they should honor their pledges of "openness" and stop acting like guilty CEOs. Shame on them.
(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 15,000 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, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com), Bob Schwiderski of Wayzata (952-471-3422, firstname.lastname@example.org), Frank Meuers of Plymouth (952-334-5180,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.