For immediate release Tuesday, October 25
We are glad any time any effort is made to unearth the truth about child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic institutions. Still, if an investigation is to be effective and honest, it must be run by truly independent, secular authorities - not church authorities.
Every time a victim of abuse and cover-up uses the tried-and-true justice system to expose their perpetrator and seek accountability, children are protected right now. We are so proud of these two men, who fought the odds and had their day in court. They are heroes to the tens of thousands of victims around the world who will never be able to stand up and speak.
Dear Mr. White and Ms. Baker:
We’re not lawyers, police, prosecutors or judges. We haven’t seen all the evidence. And we realize it’s possible that Bishop Robert Finn might be deemed innocent of the charges he faces.
We don’t mean to overstep, overreach, insult or offend anyone. We are glad you have convened grand juries. We are grateful, Ms. Baker, that your office has filed charges against Finn. We hope, Mr. White, that your office goes even further.
Self-help group starts monthly support meetings
SNAP reaches out to those abused by clerics in Youngstown & Pittsburgh area
Confidential meetings are safe place for victims to heal, they say
Victims and family members are encouraged to attend
This is a good start. We believe others on the church payroll also concealed crimes, misled parishioners and endangered kids. They too should face consequences.
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.
Church officials can not always be trusted to have victims and our children’s best interest at heart.
We applaud this brave victim for speaking up and taking action to expose the truth and possibly protecting other children.
She didn’t want more money. She wasn’t seeking a promotion. She didn’t ask for a broader job title. She wasn’t trying to push anyone else aside.
She just wanted to help. And she was punished for it.
We belong to self-help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests Our mission is to heal the wounded and protect the vulnerable.
In 2002, after decades of widespread and heinous clergy sex crimes and cover ups and facing a firestorm of public outrage, every US bishop promised to reform. They promised to to be honest about clergy sex crimes. They promised to promptly suspend suspected predators. They promised to immediately call police.
This is the most disturbing legal move – by both Missouri judges and by Missouri Catholic officials – which we’ve ever seen.
Yesterday, the state Supreme Court has turned down an appeal by a St. Louis man in what we consider an unprecedented, bizarre and dangerous move. It lets the St. Louis archdiocese escape responsibility for a known predator priest’s crimes. The reason: because the predator molested victims “off premises” at a private home, not on church grounds.