SNAP Calls for Transparency from Church Officials in Fargo, ND

The Diocese of Fargo has potentially kept children and vulnerable adults in harm’s way for months by not publicly disclosing a child sex abuse accusation against a local priest. We call for the responsible party or parties to be disciplined by Church officials, both in the US and in Rome.

According to the media report, more than a year ago a woman reported to the Diocese of Fargo that she was molested as a child by Fr. Jack Herron. However, we know this only because she had the strength and courage to disclose this horror to a newspaper. We call on the Diocese to explain why it would endanger the faithful and the public, as well as violate Church policies and promises, by hiding this information for months.

Informed communities are safer communities, and in choosing to keep this information internal, Catholic leadership in the Diocese of Fargo have put children and vulnerable adults within their borders at risk.

Members of the public who have been around an accused child molesting priest for decades need and deserve to know who and where he is. This kind of secrecy only protects wrongdoers while leaving others at risk. We are glad that the press broke this story, and we hope that others with information or suspicions about Fr. Herron – or any other priest, nun, deacon, or church staffer – will call independent sources of help, like police, prosecutors, therapists and support groups like ours.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (517-974-9009, zhiner@snapnetwork.org)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)


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