For immediate release: Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013
David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
According to the Pioneer Press, “St. Paul police Chief Thomas Smith said Tuesday that investigators have not gotten cooperation from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis on sexual abuse cases.”
This is, in our view, the most serious and damning disclosure yet in the Twin Cities Catholic crisis – that even now, even to law enforcement, Catholic officials say one thing and do another, and that even now, Catholic officials refuse to do the absolute bare minimum – responding to questions from the police.
We’re deeply saddened but not the least bit surprised by this. For decades, and even now, Catholic officials make and break promises – to parents, parishioners, police and prosecutors. They will say almost anything to gain a short term public relations advantage, knowing that when they later break their pledges, there are rarely any repercussions.
It’s easy for Catholic officials to banter around words like “cooperation.” But it’s apparently very hard for them to break decades-old patterns of self-serving secrecy.
It takes a stunning degree of arrogance and callousness to rebuff police inquiries about known and likely child molesters. How corrupt must these Catholic bishops and priests be – that they would refuse direct questioning by police?
This revelation should be the most severe “wake up call” yet to Minnesota law enforcement officials – it’s time for a full-court press to expose the truth and pursue the wrongdoers in the church, including both those who commit and those who conceal child sex crimes.
We call on every single law enforcement official and agency in the boundaries of the archdiocese to double down and do everything possible to protect kids from these selfish, heartless men in the Catholic hierarchy and to punish them for continuing to put children in harm’s way because of their pre-occupation with their own reputations.
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com), Bob Schwiderski, SNAP Minnesota director (952 471 3422, firstname.lastname@example.org