MO--Two clergy sex case developments may hurt archbishop
For immediate release: Friday, Jan. 9
New developments in two civil lawsuits may shed more light on how St. Louis’ top Catholic official deals with clergy sexual abuse. In both cases, an actual trial – as opposed to a settlement or a loss by the victims on a technicality - seems more likely.
--Today, a young St. Louis woman is disclosing that she has overcome Carlson’s bid to have her suit tossed out of court. The case involves the controversial Fr. Joseph Jiang, a close friend of Carlson’s. Fr. Jiang also faces pending criminal charges of molesting a boy in the city.
--Yesterday, Minnesota media reported that a lengthy deposition of Carlson’s will be evidence in a pedophile priest trial in the Twin Cities set for Jan. 26.
Attorneys for that victim insist that the case will not settle. (Carlson is from that archdiocese and worked as a top official there for years dealing with child molesting clerics.)
We are glad that Catholics and citizens will learn more about how Carlson and other Catholic officials who recklessly and callously put kids in harm’s way. We hope that anyone with information or suspicions about the alleged pedophile priests in these cases will speak up now so that justice may be done.
The Minnesota trial involves Fr. Thomas Stitts of the St. Paul/Minneapolis archdiocese, where Carlson grew up and worked before coming to St. Louis is a defendant. The victim’s attorneys insist that the case will NOT settle.
Fewer than 40 of these cases have ever gone to trial. So only a few dozen Catholic officials have ever been forced to answer tough questions under oath in an open court room about their role in hiding clergy sex crimes and quietly moving proven, admitted and credibly accused predator priests.
Those questions are key to showing parishioners and the public just how irresponsible Catholic officials are when it comes to children’s safety. We applaud the courageous victim in this case who clearly wants the truth to be known, even though the trial will no doubt be brutal for him.
We beg Archbishop Carlson and St. Paul Archbishop John Nienstedt to forbid their lawyers from mean-spirited and unnecessary attacks on these victims. (Catholic officials essentially admitted Fr. Stitts faced several credible accusers when they permanently ousted him from ministry.)
We beg Archbishop Carlson to tell the truth when summoned to the stand.
And we beg anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by Fr. Jiang or Fr. Stitts - or cover ups by Catholic officials – in either archdiocese - to come forward now. It’s crucial that the full truth about this scandal be revealed so that the vulnerable will be protected, the guilty will be exposed, more cover ups be prevented and the wounded be healed.
Photos and work histories of the two priests are at BishopAccountability.org
The St. Louis victim is represented by attorneys Nicole Gorovsky (880-4469) and Ken Chackes (email@example.com, 314 972 8420, 369 3902 cell).
The Minnesota victim is represented by three attorneys, including Patrick Noaker (firstname.lastname@example.org, 612-839-1080 cell) who graduated from St. Louis University law school, worked as a lawyer in St. Charles MO and later represented dozens of clergy sex abuse victims in the St. Louis area.
(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.