MN - Why MN predator priests get more $$ than non-offenders
For immediate release: Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
Some Minnesota child molesting clerics get paid more than their non-offending peers, a new MinnPost story reveals.
There’s a simple explanation: blackmail.
Predator priests are often cunning and selfish and insist on more money. We believe that bishops comply out of fear. They are scared that unless they comply, predator priests may tell what they know and suspect about other wrongdoing in the church – sexual and financial. And bishops – more than anything else – desperately want to avoid being dragged into a public scandal.
There’s an old saying: “Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer.” Bishops realize that priests know a lot about private misdeeds in their dioceses. This is especially true of predator priests. So if bishops “crack down” or threaten to “crack down” on predators, those predators can retaliate by disclosing wrongdoing by their peers or supervisors.
That’s why some predator priests get special treatment and “sweetheart deals.” That’s one reason why some get their tuition paid to return to school and get degrees in teaching or counseling (like Fr. Patrick O’Donnell in Seattle).
(There’s a noteworthy case in Paterson NJ involving a Fr. James Hanley who was defrocked and then gave a detailed and embarrassing interview to victims’ attorney Greg Gianforcaro, GianforcaroLaw@msn.com)
It’s true, as one of Archbishop John Nienstedt’s public relations staffers says “Every bishop is required by canon law to provide financial support for priests.” It’s not true, however, that bishops must cut special deals with predators.
And it’s pathetic for Nienstedt to admit, again through one of his public relations staffers, that concerns about whether a predator priest might “find secular employment” are considered. Concerns for the safety of kids and the healing of victims must come before concerns for the comfort of criminals.
The bottom line: Twin Cities Catholic officials apparently cannot be trusted with the real protection of kids or the wise use of money.
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.