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Gateway Church’s Robert Morris sex abuse allegations should spur revival laws in Texas

Victims should have a period of time to file civil suits after the statute of limitations has expired. Pastor Robert Morris applauds during a roundtable discussion at Gateway Church Dallas Campus on Thursday, June 11, 2020, in Dallas. A statement issued on Tuesday, June 18, 2024, said that Morris has resigned after a woman said he had abused her on multiple occasions in the 1980s, beginning when she was 12.(Alex Brandon / ASSOCIATED PRESS) Last week, Cindy Clemishire came forward with allegations of child sexual abuse by Pastor Robert Morris of Gateway Church. Morris did not deny the allegations. What Morris did is what many abusers do — minimize and soften the descriptions of his behavior. It was, as Morris said, “inappropriate sexual behavior with a young lady.” It was more than “inappropriate.” If Clemishire’s allegations are true, it was criminal. And she was not a “young lady.” She alleges the abuse began when she was was 12. A 12-year-old is generally in sixth or seventh grade. Her brain and body are still growing. Her permanent teeth are still emerging. She can’t drive, drink alcohol, smoke or vote. A 12-year-old is a child. According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 13 men report being victims of sexual assault as children. Those numbers equal a shocking 11% of all children worldwide. Because of these alarming numbers, many state legislatures are responding with commonsense reforms to statutes of limitations. Unfortunately, Texas isn’t one of them yet.

Texas megachurch pastor accused of child sexual abuse; SNAP applauds the victim for speaking out

For immediate release: June 16, 2024 The founding pastor of Gateway Church in Southlake, has been accused of sexually abusing a young girl beginning in 1982, when she was just 12 years old. He was a young, married pastor with a child of his own at the time. SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, applauds this survivor for coming forward. Her courage will help to protect today’s children. Cindy Clemishire told The Wartburg Watch that Pastor Robert Morris began sexually abusing her on Christmas Day, 1982, and that the assaults continued for four-and-a-half years. Pastor Morris said in a statement that “When I was in my early twenties, I was involved in inappropriate sexual behavior with a young lady in a home where I was staying. It was kissing and petting and not intercourse, but it was wrong. This behavior happened on several occasions over the next few years.” We wish to remind Pastor Morris that this was not “inappropriate sexual behavior.” This was a crime.

FBI investigating child sexual abuse in the Two by Twos; SNAP is grateful for this action

For immediate release: June 15, 2024 We are grateful that the FBI is investigating a religious sect that is facing widespread accusations of child sexual abuse. Such crimes in faith communities are best looked into by independent and trained professionals. Our hearts ache for the victims from the Two by Twos (2x2), or The Church with No Name. While we have no first-hand knowledge about these reports, we know that false accusations of child sexual abuse are extremely rare, and that those who prey on children seldom stop on their own. We want the survivors to know that we believe them, and that they are not alone. We commend those who have bravely stepped forward, and we urge the countless others who may be suffering alone and in silence to make a report to law enforcement.

Credibly accused abusers still being hidden by St. Paul’s archbishop

These clerics were in the Twin Cities archdiocese. (Two may be here now; their whereabouts are unknown.) Each of them --has been publicly deemed a ‘credibly accused’ abuser by other Catholic officials, --are on ‘credibly accused’ abusers lists on other official church websites. But Twin Cities Archbishop Bernard Hebda refuses to admit their wrongdoing or put their names on his online ‘credibly accused’ abusers list. (All of the information below comes from one or more of the following sources: court records, church documents and/or mainstream media accounts.)

NEWS CONF MON 6/17- Clergy sex abuse victims blast SD bishop

Clergy sex abuse victims blast SD bishop They call his new legal move “frightening” SNAP: “It’s just one more way of hiding predators” Diocese seeks Chapter 11 protection & end to lawsuits WHAT Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will --harshly criticize San Diego’s bishop for using bankruptcy court to “keep clergy sex abuse secrets secret and prevent abuse survivors from having their day in court,” and --beg him to give victims a longer time to come forward, and not push for a tight deadline which re-victimizes many. They will also call on --Catholics to pressure top Catholic officials to “stop playing legal hardball” and fighting victims, --other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to step forward and report known and suspected clergy sex crimes and cover ups “so that kids receive protection and victims receive justice and healing,” and --police, prosecutors and other officials to work “harder and smarter.”   WHEN Monday, June 17 at 11:00 am WHERE On the sidewalk outside the US Federal Courthouse on F Street (between State and Union on north side) in downtown San Diego WHO Three-four survivors of sexual assault by Catholic clerics, including a San Diego man who is the local leader for SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, and a LA-area woman who is a widely-known survivor, advocate and public speaker

NEWS CONF WED 6/12- Abuse victims blast St. Paul archbishop

Abuse victims blast St. Paul archbishop SNAP: ‘He’s hiding at least six predator priests’ Two of them are alive & could be around here, the group says Church officials elsewhere say they’re ‘credibly accused’ abusers Other bishops have already posted their names on Catholic websites ‘But Abp. Hebda’s hiding them,’ SNAP says ‘And who knows how many others?’ Activists will write the clerics’ names on the sidewalk using chalk WHAT Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will -- blast the Twin Cities Catholic archbishop for ‘hiding’ at least six ‘credibly accused’ child molesting priests, even though they have already been declared ‘credibly accused’ by bishops elsewhere and they’re named as abusers on other church websites, and -- strongly urge the archbishop to add the names of six alleged child molesting clerics to his website. They will also --use chalk to write the names of the credibly accused priests on the sidewalk, --beg Catholics to push top church officials to be ‘more open & honest’ about abusers and --prod anyone who has ‘seen, suspected or suffered’ crimes by any Catholic employee or volunteer to ‘come forward to trusted sources of help, like friends, family, therapists, police, prosecutors or support groups – not church officials.’ WHEN Wednesday, June 12 at 1:30 p.m. WHERE On the sidewalk outside St. Paul Cathedral, 239 Selby Ave. in St Paul WHO Four-five child sex abuse victims including a Missouri man who for 30 years headed a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org) and a local man who’s the organization’s long-time Minnesota director WHY ---1) Using court filings, church records, bishops’ websites and mainstream media accounts, SNAP has discovered and is disclosing the names of six publicly and 'credibly accused' abusive priests who are or were in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Archdiocese. But they have attracted little or no media attention here and remain largely ‘under the radar.’ That’s because Twin Cities church officials refuse to disclose and post their names, even though each of the six have been declared ‘credibly accused’ abusers by church officials elsewhere and are on diocesan websites elsewhere. (See more detail below)

Abuse victims blast La Crosse Catholic officials re: secrecy

Victims blast La Crosse bishop on abuse SNAP: He leaves several predators off his ‘accused’ list One priest pleaded ‘no contest’ to child sex crimes in 2021 The cleric also admitted 'sexual contact' Yet church officials refuse to acknowledge his wrongdoing “At least five other clerics should be added,” group says SNAP: Young woman’s pending civil suit attracts no attention WHAT Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will --blast top La Crosse Catholic officials for leaving several “proven, admitted or credibly accused” child molesting clerics off their ‘credibly accused’ abusers list, including a recently admitted and convicted offender, --urge the new La Crosse bishop to add the names of the accused abusers, and --prod anyone who has ‘seen, suspected or suffered’ crimes by any Catholic employee or volunteer to ‘come forward as soon as possible to trusted sources of help, like friends, family, therapists, police, prosecutors or support groups – not church officials.’ WHEN Tuesday, June 11 at 1:30 p.m. WHERE On the sidewalk outside St. Joseph the Workman Cathedral, 530 Main Street (corner of 6th) in downtown La Crosse WI WHO Two child sex abuse victims including a Missouri man who for 30 years headed a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

Take Action and Stop Child Sexual Abuse

If you see child sexual abuse, or have a reasonable suspicion of sexual abuse or your child has been sexually abused, call 911 or your local police immediately. 

If you suspect abuse, call the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or visit the Child Help Hotline. Trained crisis operators staff the lines 24/7 to answer your questions. If necessary, they will show you how to report in your local area.

Child pornography is a federal crime. If you see or suspect images that may be child pornography, report to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children CyberTip Line

 

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