It is interesting to note that each time a Dioceses gets sued they often respond with setting up some sort of reporting link on their website. The idea is for the survivor to have a place to make a report. History shows us that survivors and their families have for years been making reports, but many have fallen on silence in response.
In the recent bankruptcy of the Archdioceses of Minneapolis and St Paul, there was a phone number that the church provided for people to make claims. I have heard that people who called were “helped” by attorneys for the church. In the statement this past week from St John’s Abbey about the removal of Rev. Thomas Andert as Prior, the St Cloud Times reported :
Abbey spokesman the Rev. Aelerd Senna said the Abbey provided the letter writer contact information for the Stearns County Sheriff’s Department and advised him of his right to make a report to law enforcement.
To get information from the Church is especially troubling because claims would be made against the church. I always wonder whether the “helpers” make a value judgment on the person and decide, “Well I don’t think they deserve it, so why tell them the truth?” Who’s interest are they really going to protect?
It is important that the message keep getting out and that those who give voice to disclosure continue to be supported and representatives of the Church truly practice a policy of zero tolerance. Secrecy and nondisclosure is what this festering scab does not need. Abuse of children and the continued silence by the offenders needs to be prevented. If you suffered, saw, or suspected such events, it is important to know that there is help out there.
A founding partner with Bradshaw & Bryant, Mike Bryant has always fought to find justice for his clients—knowing that legal troubles, both personal injury and criminal, can be devastating for a family. Voted a Top 40 Personal Injury "Super Lawyer" multiple years, Mr. Bryant has also been voted one of the Top 100 Minnesota "Super Lawyers" four times.