MN--Victims urge “more honesty & outreach” in predator priest case

MN--Victims urge “more honesty & outreach” in predator priest case

For immediate release: Friday, June 3, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790,314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

Minnesota Catholic officials are writing parishioners saying their parish is being sued because of child sex crimes by Fr. Stanley Bourassa in the 1960s.

While we don’t know the specifics of this case, here’s what we DO know: Catholic officials should be more honest about these horrific cases. They should use parish bulletins, church websites and pulpit announcements to beg every single individual with information or suspicions about abuse in Catholic entities to step forward and get help from independent sources, and report what they know or fear to the independent professionals in law enforcement, not the biased amateurs in church offices.

Instead of telling the flock “we know nothing,” staff at Sacred Heart should be aggressively seeking others who may have been hurt by this predator.

No matter what courts or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.

Child sex allegations against this priest first publicly in 2014 when, under pressure, the Crookston diocese released a list of accused pedophiles.

Bourassa was trained at Nazareth Hall Preparatory Seminary in St. Paul and St John's University/Seminary in Collegeville. According to BishopAccountability.org, he worked in the Crookston diocese his entire career, as a parish priest, high school teacher, and diocesan school administrator. He was made monsignor on 4/11/90. Died 8/11/04.

(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, davidgclohessy@gmail.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747bblaine@snapnetwork.org)

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