Network of Abused Priests Releases Statement on Order
By Cassie Hart
February 12, 2014
Statement by Frank Meuers of SNAP, the Survivors
Network of those Abused by Priests, on the recent order by a Ramsey County judge.
“We're grateful that a judge today ordered St. Paul
Catholic officials to be deposed and turn over records about
clerics who commit or conceal heinous crimes against kids.
The need for more disclosure by church figures has
been clear for years. Many rightly believe that church officials
have not, and are not, being held accountable for irresponsible
deeds and crimes that other officials in other organizations
For decades, our justice system has erred on the side
of protecting church officials in these cases, sometimes
treading lightly for fear of alienating a large institution. The
results have been – and continue to be – disastrous.
We must, for the safety of children, err on the side
of protecting those who are vulnerable, not those who seem
powerful or popular.
St. Paul's archbishop claimed that he and his
disgraced top aide should not be deposed. We are glad these
complicit clerics lost.
Their excuse was that they supposedly didn't handle
the case of this notorious predator priest, Fr. Thomas Adamson.
Even if this is true, it's irrelevant.
Many church officials have access to many records
about many predator priests. Nearly all of these officials
endanger kids by keeping this information secret. All of these
officials could (like Jennifer Haselberger) protect kids by
Morally, these church officials should be held
responsible, because they're at the top of a rigid hierarchy in
which their orders are followed and their actions are emulated.
Legally, these church officials should be held responsible, for
the same reason: they could have protected kids and stopped
predators but refused to do so.
No matter which priest molested which kids under which
archbishop, every Catholic employee who refused to call the
police about known or suspected child sex crimes is guilty – if
not legally, then morally.
A CEO of a waste disposal firm may not have loaded or
unloaded leaky barrels of dangerous chemicals. That doesn't
mean, however, that he should be allowed to pretend he was or is
powerless or blameless.
Catholic officials are forever trying to distance
themselves from and claim to be powerless over their child
molesting clerics. Increasingly, judges, jurors, police,
prosecutors and parishioners are rightly seeing through this
We hope this ruling inspires others who saw, suspected
or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups in Minnesota – in
any denomination – to step forward.”