MO- Predatory ex-minister is “outed” in historic “first,” SNAP responds

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, June 30, 2014

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 566 9790, )

For perhaps the first time ever, a local Protestant church body is exposing an ex-minister as a credibly accused child molester, even though there are no criminal charges, no civil lawsuit and no admission by the alleged predator. SNAP is applauding the move. We also applaud the brave victim who helped us prod church officials to do this.

Today, Presbyterian officials sent out a news release (below) announcing that child sex abuse allegations against Michael Walker Jackson, who was a minister in Presbyterian churches in this area and in Georgia, are “credible.” Until today, perhaps a dozen or two dozen people knew this. Now, because Presbyterian officials are acting with compassion and courage, hopefully thousands will know to keep their kids away fromJackson. We hope that hundreds of parents – in Missouri and Georgia – will ask their kids if Jackson may have hurt them.

We applaud the Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy. They could and should have done this sooner. But kids are now safer. We hope their colleagues in Georgia take this simple, prudent step too. Child molesters thrive on secrecy. And their employers, past or current, owe it to parents, the public and their staffs to disclose the truth about child molesters every time they can.

We hope that other denominations follow the Presbyterians’ lead. The safety of kids trumps the comfort of adults. It’s ok to worry about being sued for “outing” a child molester. But responsible leaders won’t let that fear prevent them from something even more troubling: being part of the secrecy that predators want, need and use to hurt more children.

We in SNAP met with a Presbyterian committee about a year ago and begged them to tell the public that the accusations against Jackson are credible. Again, we are relieved that they have done this. We believe Jackson’s victim or victims will also be relieved.

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