MN- Victims want whereabouts of predator priests
For immediate release: Monday, June 23, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
Information on abuse is good. Action on abuse is better.
And current information beats old information. So we beg Winona Bishop John Quinn to disclose the whereabouts of Fr. Joseph C. Cashman, Fr. Jack L. Krough, and Fr. Leland J. Smith – all of whom are living and are defrocked or being defrocked. Any of these men could now be living next to a day care center (as a suspended Youngtown predator priest did for years) or school or playground. They could be babysitting neighbors' kids in an apartment building filled with single immigrant mothers.
We also call on Quinn;
– to disclose whether proven, admitted or credibly accused Winona predator priests are getting any kind of supervision whatsoever,
– to write Vatican officials urging them to suspendFr. Carlos Urrutigoity, a credibly accused abusive priest who worked in several places, (Minnesota and Pennsylvania, Argentina and Switzerland), was the subject of a $454,000 settlement, and is now second in command of a diocese in Paraguay. (Scranton's bishop has pledged to do this.)
– to write South American church officials urging them to warn their flocks about Fr. Urrutigoity, and
– to write to bishops in India urging them to warn their flocks about Fr. Leo Charles Koppala who pleaded guilty in March to child sex crimes in Minnesota and has been deported to his native country.
Finally, we beg Bishop Quinn to aggressively reach out to his flock - using his bully pulpit, parish newsletters, diocesan website, and personal parish visits - and beg anyone who saw, suspects or suffered child sex crimes to come forward, report to police and start healing. A news conference is good, but in-person parish visits would be an effective follow-up.
(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)
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.
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.