MO- More predator priest settlements in KC
For immediate release: Friday, Feb. 21
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
Two more cases have settled against Kansas City's Catholic diocese because several top church officials ignored and concealed heinous crimes by a priest, Fr. Shawn Ratigan.
We are glad that Ratigan individually has been assessed a penalty, though we doubt he'll ever have to pay it. And we are grateful every time a victim of a predator priest finds the courage to step forward, the wisdom to take legal action, the persistence to endure bishops' delay, and wins any measure of justice.
All of this pain could have been avoided, if only men who purport to be “shepherds” acted like “shepherds.” Instead, they acted like callous CEOs and timid underlings, obsessed with saving their clerical careers instead of protecting their flocks.
We are convinced that others who saw, suspected and suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups in Kansas City – involving Ratigan and other priests – still haven't come forward. We hope they'll find the bravery to do so. That's the way to heal. That's the way to deter cover ups. That's the way to protect kids.
(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 15,000 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.
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.