MT- 2 ex-bishops should "come clean," victims say
For immediate release: Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, outreach director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
Current and former Helena Catholic officials are getting a "free pass" because Helena's bishop is hiding behind chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.
None of them will be forced to testify under oath about their role in hiding clergy sex crimes. So for the sake of justice and healing, we call on them to voluntarily and publicly discuss what they did and didn't do to protect kids and expose wrongdoers.
Specifically, we call on retired bishops Raymond Hunthausen (the bishop from 1962-1975) and Elden Curtiss (who was bishop from 1976-1993) to voluntarily step up now and disclose how much they knew about and how little they did about child molesting Montana clerics and the current or former church employees who also hid their crimes. It's the very least they can do, in light of the hundreds of men and women who have been sexually violated over the past few decades by Montana Catholic priests, nuns, bishops, seminarians and brothers.
According to a recent newspaper article, Hunthausen lives in a Helena nursing home and Curtiss is a retired archbishop of Omaha, Nebraska.
(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.
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.