MO--Catholic group has scholarship named after Cardinal Law
For immediate release: Thursday, April 21, 2016
Victims blast big Catholic group
It honors “disgraced” church official
Scholarship is named after Boston’s Cardinal Law
He was forced to resign due to “horrific” abuse cover ups
Years ago, he headed diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau
SNAP: “Such callousness encourages secrecy and hurts victims”
Group asks St. Louis archbishop to force K of C to apologize & stop
A large statewide Catholic group that meets this weekend just gave a scholarship named after a disgraced Catholic official who was forced to resign because of widespread abuse cover ups and a victims’ group is crying foul.
The Missouri Knights of Columbus donated money to a student for his education as the “Cardinal Bernard Law Youth Scholarship.” http://www.mokofc.org/programs/youth-activities/scholarships-grants
In 2002, Law became the first US bishop to resign for quietly moving predator priests. He’s been called “the poster child” for the church’s abuse scandal.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A42581-2005Apr10.html
St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson is the Knights’ honorary state chaplain. They have an office in Maplewood (7318 Manchester Rd, 314 647 5529) and Jefferson City (573 584 3200). They are the “world’s largest Catholic fraternal organization” with 1.8 million members. http://www.kofc.org/un/en/news/releases/1point8_20100505.html
Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests says honoring those who conceal abuse encourages others to conceal abuse.
“Archbishop Robert Carlson is Missouri’s highest ranking Catholic official,” said David Clohessy, SNAP’s director. “He should denounce this callousness and insist that the group apologize and rename the scholarship.”
“Ignoring wrongdoing encourages more wrongdoing,” said Barbara Dorris, SNAP’s outreach director. “And honoring a prelate who knowingly endangered hundreds of kids for decades makes victims who haven’t reported their abuse less likely to do so. It deepens the already deep feelings of hopelessness that so many of us already feel.”
“Keith Milson of St. Louis is the statewide head of the Knights. He is an engineer for MSD, so he’s not dumb. And he’s been involved with the Missouri State High School Activities Association, so he should care about kids,” said Clohessy. “So how can he and Archbishop Carlson and thousands of Catholics across Missouri turn a blind eye to the widely-understood and clearly-documented harm that Cardinal Law did to so many families?”
In 2003, the national Knights of Columbus loaned $38 million to Law and the Boston archdiocese to settle child sex abuse and cover up lawsuits.
The Knights of Columbus Missouri State Council holds its annual convention April 22-24 at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City.
Other K of C officials include Michael Grudzinski of Maryville (660-562-1529), Bob Hawkins of Ballwin (636-391-6443), Doug Kissinger of Ozark (417-336-2023), Michael Auchly of Montgomery City (636-745-3351 x 1321), Jerry Herbert of Florissant (314-746-4608), Tim Beussink of Gordonville (573-450-6466), John Mautino of Lee's Summit(816-305-5954), Michael Tesmer of Harrisonville (816-918-9134) and Youth Director John (Rocky) Gambon of Springfield (417-830-6389)
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.