TX- Victims blast Ft. Worth church in abuse case
For immediate release: Friday, Aug. 15, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, [email protected])
Members of a Ft. Worth area church cheered as a minister made callous and intimidating comments in a child sex case involving a twice-accused colleague.
Shame on them.
Congregants of Cowboy Way Church cheered and applauded as visiting Pastor Randy Free told them “Our beloved pastor finds himself in the greatest spiritual battle of his life…However there is a silver lining behind this storm cloud ... That is that Dan’s God and our God has never lost a battle. And he's not about to lose this one.”
Shame on Free and everyone who clapped at these insensitive, chilling words. Such hurtful remarks make victims, witnesses and whistleblowers feel frightened and discouraged about reporting known and suspected child sex crimes.
As adults, we face a simple choice. We can make it easier or harder for crime victims to step forward, expose wrongdoers, help police, protect kids and start healing. Members and staff at Cowboy Way Church are making it harder, on teenagers and adults who have been sexually assaulted. And they're rubbing salt into the already-deep wounds of many crime victims.
It's very hard for those with information about child sex crimes to speak up. But unless they do, more child molesters hurt more kids. Those at Cowboy Way Church are ignoring this sad reality.
Despite this irresponsible behavior, we hope every single person who saw, suspects or suffered crimes by Rev. Dan Haby Jr., finds the strength to pick up the phone, do their moral and civic duty, and call law enforcement. And in light of the depressing and intimidating actions of church members, we hope police and prosecutors will re-double their efforts to successfully prosecute Haby and anyone at Cowboy Way Church who may have ignored or concealed or enabled his crimes.
(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 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)