MN--Victims challenge Winona priests re 2 new predators
For immediate release: Friday, April 10
Statement by Frank Meuers of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (952-334-5180, [email protected])
Two more names of Minnesota predator priests have been made public. We challenge every priest in the Winona diocese to mention their names at masses this weekend and beg anyone who has been hurt by the clerics to come forward and get help.
This disclosure isn’t voluntary. It’s happening because a brave and compassionate victim was strong enough to file a lawsuit and caring enough to insist that child molesting clerics be “outed.” So we ask Winona priests to go beyond the legal bare minimum. We urge them to use pulpit announcements, parish websites and church bulletins to do as Christ taught us: to reach out to the “lost sheep.”
Somewhere in Minnesota is a man or woman who was assaulted as a child by Fr. Thomas Duane or Fr. Harold Mountain. She drinks herself into a stupor nightly to dull her pain from that trauma. Or he drugs himself daily to numb his suffering. And their relatives wonder “Why did Sally’s life go south?” or “Why does Bill isolate himself from the rest of our family?”
This long-standing misery can end. But only if Sally or Bill break their silence and share their burdens with loved ones. And that often happens when victims learn that their predators are deceased or are publicly “outed.” That, in turn, often happens when those with “bully pulpits” show real leadership and use their resources to beg victims to step forward.
We are grateful to him and to every single victim of clergy sexual violence who has taken steps to protect children, expose wrongdoers, seek justice and deter cover ups. We’re especially grateful to those individuals who reported being abused by these two priests. We hope this disclosure brings some comfort and closure to those hurt by Fr. Mountain and Fr. Duane. And we hope this disclosure will prod others who are suffering in shame, silence and self-blame to begin to recover.
If Winona priests don’t take this outreach step voluntarily, we urge Bishop John Quinn to insist that they do so. And we hope every single current and former Winona Catholic church employee and member to spread the word as best they can about these two predator priests.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 and have 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)
Contact - David Clohessy 314-566-9790, [email protected], Barbara Dorris 314-503-0003, [email protected], Verne Wagner of Duluth, Northeast MN (Duluth, MN & Superior, WI) SNAP director (218- 340-1277, [email protected])