SNAP Responds to Archdiocese of Minneapolis/St. Paul Statement regarding Fr. Kevin McDonough
The Catholic Archdiocese of Minneapolis/St. Paul has completed what they call an “exhaustive review” into the way that clergy abuse allegations had been handled by its longtime vicar general. The response leaves much to be desired.
In our view, the statement released by the Archdiocese outlining its actions in holding its longtime Vicar General accountable is totally inadequate. Once again, Catholic officials speak in terms of “failings” and “mistakes” while choosing not to acknowledge the active choices made by Fr. Kevin McDonough and others in their response to allegations of clergy abuse. We doubt that the Archdiocesan determination that Fr. McDonough “failed, albeit not intentionally” means anything to the survivors and the families of those who were abused by priests in Minnesota. Accusations were ignored by the Archdiocesan leaders and that enabled the abusers to harm more victims.
We can summarize the conclusion arrived at by the Twin Cities Archdiocese as “being that although he repeatedly placed the reputation of the Archdiocese and the need to protect it above the lives of the children of the Archdiocese, it kind of isn’t his fault because he didn’t do it on purpose.” Fr. McDonough is a highly educated man who was in an Archdiocesan leadership position. It is difficult to believe that he really was not aware of the harm he was doing.
This reaction from Catholic officials in Minnesota is not new. The fact is, we have seen this kind of response from dioceses around the country and found all of their conclusions to be invalid. We believe that for justice to occur there must be an outcome of benefit to those harmed that will address that damage and, critically, steps must be outlined to ensure abuse and cover-up never reoccurs. This has not taken place in Minneapolis / St. Paul and the recommendations put out by Archdiocesan leaders there will ultimately prove to be a toothless tiger.
We hope that many of the Catholic faithful in the Archdiocese will ask for greater action on behalf of the members of their church family that suffered at the hands of their clergy. We also hope that more will be done to ensure true accountability for those that enabled abuse and covered it up.
CONTACT: Frank Meurs, SNAP Minnesota ([email protected], 952-334-5180), Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager (mmcd[email protected], 267-261-0578), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)
(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)