MO--Priest who lives here sued for abuse in Chicago
For immediate release: Wednesday, Jan. 7
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)
A priest who lives in St. Louis has just been sued for allegedly molesting a boy in suburban Chicago. We call on Archbishop Robert Carlson to warn his flock about the accused predator.
Fr. Lawrence “Larry” M. Gibbs has been called the Joliet Catholic diocese’s most notorious pedophile priest. The Chicago Tribune reports that Fr. Gibbs has been named as a defendant in a clergy sex abuse and cover up lawsuit just filed by Stan Lewandowski. We applaud Lewandowski for his courage in helping to prevent child sex crimes by Fr. Gibbs.
We hope every single person who saw, suspected or suffered Fr. Gibbs crimes will contact police, get help, expose wrongdoers, protect kids and start healing. This is the third time in three years Fr. Gibbs has been sued for alleged abuse.
And we hope every single Catholic employee in the St. Louis area – from archbishop to assistant custodian – will alert parents, parishioners and the public to Fr. Gibbs’ presence in St. Louis (which we believe has not been disclosed until today).
A photo of Fr. Gibbs is at BishopAccountability.org
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 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.
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.