Victims Want Voluntary Disclosure by Missouri Attorney General & Bishop
Oct. 1, 2019
Dear AG Schmitt,
As we told you last week, your recent report on clergy sex crimes in Missouri is the worst such effort by a governmental official we’ve seen in our 30 years of involvement in this crisis. It’s misleading, weak and disturbingly deferential to the Catholic hierarchy.
We are disappointed that you’ve rejected our Sunshine Act request for
-- copies of any “memo of understanding” or agreement(s) you or your predecessor signed with Catholic officials, and
-- a thorough list of who you and your staff (and your predecessor and his staff) met or spoke with during this so-called ‘investigation.’
You evidently do not feel that you must share this information publicly. Now, however, we’re asking that you do so voluntarily. (We’re also asking all four Missouri bishops to do likewise.)
Why do we want such agreements? Because we’re convinced that you gave bishops massive concessions on the front end of your ‘probe’. (Why else would you ignore the church run predator priest treatment centers in Missouri, the hundreds of religious order clerics in Missouri, and say looking at church supervisors who have or are enabling abuse is “outside the scope” of your probe?)
Why do we want such lists? Because we’re convinced you and your staff spent a lot of time with Catholic officials, less time with victims and likely no time at all with recognized experts in this field, neither local nor national.
And what’s the harm in keeping all of this secret? It endangers kids. It hurts victims. And it undermines respect for the law and for law enforcement in general. And it severely casts doubt on the intentions and performance of you, your predecessor and your staff.
If you and Missouri’s bishops have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide. So please ameliorate some of the harm done by your shoddy and deceptive report and disclose this information.
David Clohessy 314 566 9790, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jim McConnell 816 590 4752, email@example.com
SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests