SNAP Statements on Abusive Priest Sued Again
Statement by SNAP member John David Couzens
Over the years, hundreds and hundreds of adults in this region have worked for Catholic institutions – the diocese, the parishes, and the schools.
Many of them, we’re convinced, know or suspect something about the sexual misdeeds of priests, nuns, brothers, seminarians and other church employees.
And most of them, we’re convinced, are staying silent. Shame on them.
Predators succeed when adults keep quiet. And predators fail when adults speak up.
And there’s no better time or place for caring adults to speak up about known and suspected child sexual assaults than right now in Kansas City. Why? Because two grand juries are now investigating these very crimes and cover ups.
Msgr. Murphy and Bishop Finn and others in the diocesan headquarters might face criminal charges because they didn’t speak up about known or suspected child sexual assaults. Others might too.
But fear of criminal consequences shouldn’t be the only motivation. Current and former Catholic employees should be forthcoming because it’s the right thing to do and it’s the only way to protect kids.
So, church workers, listen up – Stop delaying. Stop worrying. Stop making excuses. Start talking and helping. And to it today.
Statement by SNAP member Teresa White of Higgensville (abused as a teenager by Fr. Frances McGlynn)
Like the woman filing suit today, I too was sexually violated as a teenager by Fr. Francis McGlynn. My heart goes out to her. I am grateful she’s doing what she can to warn others about this dangerous predator.
I’m here today with other members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org). We want to do whatever we can to stop other children from suffering the way we have suffered as the way some of us are still suffering.
Specifically, we’re here to announce a new civil child sex abuse and cover-up lawsuit against McGlynn and his church supervisors.
And we’re here to prod citizens and Catholics – especially current and former church employees – to share what they know about clergy sex crimes with prosecutors who have convened two grand juries.
Prosecutors in Jackson County and Clay County are looking into how Catholic officials have ignored, concealed and enabled the crimes of men like McGlynn, Ratigan and others. We should all do what we can to help If you have any information that might assist prosecutors in exposing the truth, now is the time to share it.
This woman who is suing today repressed all memory of these events from her consciousness until just a few months ago. Again, we applaud her for her courage, strength and resilience and we wish her well in her recovery.
Her suit says the diocese “knowingly covered up and concealed the sexual abuse of parishioners by McGlynn” which “has allowed McGlynn to sexually abuse numerous children and women.” I believe she’s right. And I hope her courage and my courage can stop this irresponsible pattern.
Church officials say McGlynn retired in 1992 and was ordained in 1954. He is believed to be in his mid-80s. McGlynn is now a retired priest “living in or around Kansas City,” the suit says. His photo is available at BishopAccountability.org
McGlynn worked at the following parishes: Holy Cross, Holy Trinity, Guardian Angels, St. Louis, Cathedral of Immaculate Conception (all in Kansas City), St. Patrick’s St. Joseph, St. Rose of Lima in Savannah, Sacred Heart in Hamilton, and St. Therese in Parkville (all in western Missouri) and Holy Trinity in Marshfield (in southern Missouri).
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.