MN- Archbishop reverses himself & tries again to block disclosures

For immediate release: Friday, Feb. 14, 2014

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, [email protected])

St. Paul Archbishop John Nienstedt is inflicting emotional whiplash on abuse victims and concerned Catholics.

Yesterday, he said (through his public relations team), that he "looks forward to working with the court and all affected parties to promote the protection of children (and) the healing of victims."

And today, he's trying (through his lawyers) to block the very disclosures that help protect kids and heal victims, disclosures ordered by a judge who carefully considered the very real public safety risk that result when dozens of proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics are allowed to live and work among unsuspecting families and colleagues after being ousted – often quietly – from Catholic parishes because of child sex abuse reports.

What's changed in 24 hours? Nienstedt may have thought more about how devastating his deposition – and Fr. Kevin McDonough's deposition – will almost certainly be. As long as they hide behind their desks and their public relations professionals, Catholic officials can make any claim or promise they like, no matter how far-fetched or absurd. But when they must face tough questions under oath about their complicity, that's when the facade really begins to crumble. And Nienstedt knows and fears this.

The other possibility is also depressing: that Neinstedt was being deceptive again, and pretended to cooperate yesterday knowing he'd reverse himself today.

Either explanation paints a dismal portrait of the archbishop.

This is more proof that Catholic officials' promises of reform are baloney. It's a reminder that those who want to protect kids and deter cover ups must not wait for others to act – we must step forward ourselves, whether we're victims, witnesses, whistleblowers or concerned Catholics.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 15,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747,[email protected]), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, [email protected])

Showing 5 comments

  • Jonathan Hinck
    commented 2014-02-15 12:41:44 -0600
    In how many court cases across the country is the Church fighting to prevent the disclosure of likely offenders? Unfortunately for them our court system is open to the public (if we had secret trials it would be the Soviet Union), and so here the Church has no other option than to reveal its true intentions.
  • Lani Halter
    commented 2014-02-14 21:54:39 -0600
    Stop the Abuse. Convict the abusers.
  • John Sherman
    commented 2014-02-14 21:25:41 -0600
    “At the same time, we strongly assert our pursuit of justice for any who are falsely accused.” Refusing to turn over names of accused priests, leaves it to in house investigation and a settlement outside of criminal jurisdiction, thereby preventingpossible conviction and being labeled a sexual predator with the civil strictures that brings, thereby endangering others.
  • Lani Halter
    commented 2014-02-14 18:11:09 -0600
    Again, I have noticed that I think the last paragraph of this statement, (written by Mr. Clohessy and posted by Mrs. Dorris, is such an important statment that it bears repeating here:
    “This is more proof that Catholic officials’ promises of reform are baloney. It’s a reminder that those who want to protect kids and deter cover ups must not wait for others to act – we must step forward ourselves, whether we’re victims, witnesses, whistleblowers or concerned Catholics.”
  • @ tweeted this page. 2014-02-14 12:08:47 -0600

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