MN--Twin Cities Catholic archdiocese is charged; SNAP responds
For immediate release: Friday, June 5
We’re glad the Twin Cities archdiocese is being charged. But the credit goes to brave Minnesota victims who have stepped forward and exposed wrongdoing. Their civil lawsuits, police reports and courage has made this happen.
We believe this is the first time in more than a decade that a Catholic diocese has faced criminal charges.
Catholic officials almost always hire expensive lawyers, exploit every technicality and fight bitterly to protect their clerical careers. We predict that will happen here.
So it’s not time for complacency. Every single man and woman has a moral and civic duty to call prosecutors with what they know or suspect about Twin Cities clergy sex crimes or cover ups, no matter how seemingly insignificant or long ago.
By passing a three year civil window, lawmakers gave victims hope. Victims then filed suits and police reports. And now, a big and powerful Catholic institution faces charges. That’s not ideal but it’s progress.
The cover ups in the Twin Cities are so widely-documented at this point, we believe John Choi had little choice but to pursue the church hierarchy. We’re glad he did. But a charge is not a conviction. So it’s crucial that current and former church staff and members overcome their fears, pick up the phone and call the law, whether they’re victims, witnesses or whistleblowers.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 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 SNAPnetwork.org)