For immediate release: Monday, Dec. 2, 2013
David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
At least four girls say Rev. Travis Smith of Stover (near Jefferson City) molested them. Smith goes on trial today. We hope his victims get justice and we hope Smith is convicted and imprisoned so that kids will be safer.
Shame on the misguided and reckless members of First Baptist Church of Stover who are choosing, despite four alleged victims and six felony charges, to keep Rev. Smith on the job. This is stunningly callous behavior. It’s also a severe misreading of the notion of forgiveness. We can forgive wrongdoers without putting others at risk.
Forgiveness is a private decision. Paying a credibly accused serial child molesting cleric is a public act, and one that is inexcusable. The two should never be confused.