Victims of priest sexual abuse call on Duluth Diocese for action

By KBJR News 1

October 8, 2013 Updated Oct 9, 2013 at 2:43 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests is calling for the Duluth Diocese to be more transparent in its dealings with alleged sexual assault cases.

The latest request from SNAP comes just after the Duluth diocese announced a former Chisholm priest sexually abused a minor female between 1975 and 1986.

Standing outside the diocese offices, SNAP National Director David Clohessy and Northeast Director Verne Wagner called for anyone who saw or suffered abuse to speak out, and seek help.

They also called for local prosecutors to investigate those who both commit and conceal sex crimes within the diocese.

In a comment directed toward Bishop Paul Sirba, they also said that it's inexcusable and irresponsible to say nothing when an abuse allegation in made, and determined to be credible.

"We would urge the bishop to come clean and post on his website, as 30 other U.S. bishops have done, the names of every credibly accused child molesting cleric in that diocese, and to keep that list up there permanently," said Clohessy.

The Duluth Diocese has had a sexual misconduct policy in place since 1992 to prevent abuse from happening.

The Diocese did release the following statement. NNC NOW has removed the name of the priest involved in the allegations of abuse as part of our policy to not name anyone who hasn't been officially charged with a crime:

“Even in the absence of a civil investigation, when an allegation is made, the church conducts its own investigation using an outside investigator... The Diocese of Dluluth deplores the sin and crime of child sexual abuse, especially on the part of clergy... We urge anyone who is a victim to come forward and report it to civil authorities and to diocesan officials."

Billy Wagness