MN - Victims to hold vigil outside church
They praise a woman and a man who helped police
And they honor “Twin Cities victims who have spoken up”
“Not just kids, but vulnerable adults are victims too,” SNAP says
Group also blasts Archbishop for his lawyer’s recent “mean” comments
Church attorney impugned the motives of former top aide to Nienstedt
SNAP: “Church should be encouraging – not discouraging – disclosures”
Holding signs and childhood photos at a short vigil, clergy sex abuse victims will
--blast the archbishop’s lawyer who recently attacked a whistleblower in court and
--urge anyone who may have been hurt by Fr. Mark Huberty, who’s accused of sexually assaulting an adult, to “come forward, get help, call police and start healing.”
They will also praise
--local individuals who were hurt by priests and have spoken up over the years and
--two recent church whistleblowers who helped expose Fr. Jonathan Shelley & Fr. Curtis Wehmeyer &
--adults who are sexually exploited by clergy and who often find it even tougher to step forward
TONIGHT, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013 at 7 p.m.
Outside the Church of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 1725 Kennard Street (north of Larpenteur Ave E and south of Maryknoll Avenue) in Maplewood (where a priest faces recent allegations of sexually exploiting an adult parishioner, and where another priest has just been sent who helped conceal child sex crimes)
Several local concerned Catholics and two-three victims who belong to a self-help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a Missouri man who is the organization’s long time executive director. (He and his brothers were molested by a priest; one of them went on to become a priest and molest kids himself.)
According to Minnesota Public Radio, since May 1, “Maplewood police say they have been investigating allegations of criminal sexual misconduct by Fr. Mark Huberty, pastor of the Church of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.” Fr. Huberty has taken a voluntary leave of absence over an allegation he inappropriately touched a woman, which he denies.”
SNAP is urging anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered Fr. Huberty’s crimes to “find the courage to speak up, get help, expose wrongdoers and protect others.”
SNAP also chose this church for the vigil because Fr. Peter Laird, a high-ranking aide to Archbishop John Nienstedt, has recently been sent here. The group believes he is compromised for his actions in the case of Fr. Curtis Wehmeyer - http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2013/10/03/laird-resigns
In court last week, an archdiocesan lawyer called whistleblower canon lawyer Jennifer Haselberger “imprudent,” “disgruntled” and “unsophisticated.” SNAP is outraged by these mean-spirited comments and holds Nienstedt responsible for them.
Finally, the group is praising Haselberger and Joe Ternus of Hugo both of whom helped police by providing information about suspected clergy child sex crimes. And the group will praise all victims of clergy sex crimes and misconduct who have stepped forward in the Twin Cities over the years, including adults who have been exploited and who often find it harder to disclose their suffering.