NE--Victims blast Nebraska Catholic officials for deceit
For immediate release: Friday, Jan. 15, 2016
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP outreach director (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)
Nebraska Catholic officials are deceiving their flock about Bishop Robert Finn, the only prelate in the US to be criminally convicted for refusing to report child sex crimes to police. (Finn now works in Nebraska.)
It’s dreadfully disingenuous to claim, as Bishop James Conley and one of his spokesmen JD Flynn are doing, that “Finn's offense was an administrative mistake.” It was not. It was a crime. There was a trial. Finn was found guilty. He was penalized.
It’s also disingenuous to claim, as Conley and Flynn are doing, that (Finn) failed to notify police immediately of (a now-convicted priest’s) behavior.” Finn never notified the police. (Months later, one of Finn’s underlings called the police.)
And, in fact, Finn kept information and suspicions about these heinous crimes from police for months.
Finn, in fact, did not “fail.” Time and time again, Finn made deliberate, self-serving decisions to protect himself, his reputation and his priest, instead of protecting his flock.
Failure suggests a good faith effort that went awry. Had Finn tried to call the police but misdialed, that would have been a failure. Had he mailed evidence to police but forgot to put a stamp on the envelope, that would have been a failure.
But Finn did not “fail” to call the police. He knowingly refused to do so, for months, and during those months, more child sex crimes were committed, more kids were hurt, more families were deceived and devastated.
More about Finn’s reckless, callous and deceptive actions in clergy sex abuse and cover up cases is here:
We hope those who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups during Finn’s tenure in Kansas City will call police, expose wrongdoers and protect kids. And we hope Nebraska Catholic employee and parishioners will denounce Lincoln’s bishop for this irresponsible move.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has 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.