Abuse victims blast Indianapolis archbishop
SNAP discloses an Indy priest facing three pending lawsuits for child sexual abuse
Yet he was left off recent archdiocesan “credibly accused” list, group points out
Archbishop should add the clergyman to his list, as well as expand it
“Victims, witnesses & whistle blowers should call attorney general,” SNAP says
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, a clergy sex abuse victim and advocate will publicly disclose for the first time that two credibly accused predator priests (including one who faces three pending abuse lawsuits) have been left off the archdiocese's 'accused' list.
They will also
--prod Indianapolis’ Catholic archbishop to explain this omission, add the priests, and other alleged predators, to his “accused” clergy list, and
--beg anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups in Indiana to contact the attorney general who they say should be conducting an investigation into this crisis.
Thursday, January 17 at 2:45 p.m.
On the sidewalk outside the Indianapolis archdiocese headquarters (“chancery”), 1400 N. Meridian Street, (corner of W 14th Street) in Indianapolis,IN
At least two abuse victims: a Missouri man who is the St. Louis volunteer leader of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (and the organization's former long time executive director) and an Illinois man who is the group’s Chicago volunteer leader, along with possibly 1-3 Indianapolis SNAP members
1) At least three civil abuse lawsuits are pending against Fr. James J. Grear who worked in three Indiana cities - Indianapolis, Muncie andLafayette.
Inexplicably, however, he does not appear on the Indianapolis Archdiocesan “accused” cleric list, though he is on the Lafayette diocesan "accused" list, which was released in September.
SNAP wants Indy church officials to explain the omission, include him and revise the list to include ALL alleged offenders who have been in the archdiocese: nuns, bishops, seminarians, brothers and priests.
In the first lawsuit, filed in 9/18 in Hamilton County, John Doe 1 says that Grear abused him in approximately 1982. That same year, Doe disclosed the abuse in confession with then-Bishop Raymond Gallagher who instructed Doe to forget about it, keep quiet and ask God to forgive him.
In the second lawsuit, filed in 11/18 in Marion County, John Doe 2 charges that Grear bought him “expensive gifts, took him bowling, to the movies and restaurants and on trips” abusing him three times in Indianapolis. His parents reported the abuse to church authorities around 1975.
In the third suit, filed in 11/18 in Marion County, John Doe 3 says that Grear tried to recruit him to attend Brebeuf, “spent lavishly” on gifts for him, took him on trips and abused him three times around 1974-75 when he was a 12 and 13 year old altar boy. The abuse reportedly happened three-five times at Grear’s Indianapolis apartment.
SNAP says Fr. Grear had a very “troubling” work history, spending time in at least six states. In 1970, he was sent to the Lafayette diocese. Once, he was on an unspecified “special assignment,” (1971), once he was “unassigned” (1991-93) and four separate times, he was “on duty outside diocese” (1974-75, 1976, 1978-79 and 1986). For two long stretches, Grear was missing entirely from the Official Catholic Directory (1980-85 and after 1993.) He attended seminary in Little Rock, Arkansas and New Orleans, Louisiana.
Grear was at Ball State University in Muncie (1972), St. Francis of Assisi University parish (1973), Brebeuf Preparatory School in Indianapolis(1974-75) and the South Bronx Pastoral Center in New York (1987-89). Twice, he worked in Phoenix Arizona, at St. John Indian School (1976) and the diocesan headquarters (1977).
Grear’s name does not appear on Brebeuf’s website (https://brebeuf.org/) nor the Indy archdiocesan site.
All three men are represented by Minneapolis attorney Pat Noaker (612 349 2735, firstname.lastname@example.org) and were students and/or parishioners at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel parish in Carmel Indiana.
(Other publicly accused clerics who worked at Brebeuf include Fr. Donald J. O'Shaughnessy, Fr. Michael E. Dorrler and Fr. Bernard P. Knoth.
The other credibly accused cleric who has been left of the Indy list is Fr. Crispin Butz. He was named among Franciscan alleged clergy perpetrators of sexual abuse in a 12/14 court documents in Gallup NM. Early in his career, he worked in Batesville, IN and Louisville, KY. He worked in several NM towns (Gallup, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Bloomfield, Cuba and Grants). He died in 2011 in Albuquerque.
2) In October, Indianapolis Archbishop Charles Thompson posted names of "credibly accused" abusers on his website. http://www.archindy.org/criterion/local/2018/10-12/abuse.html
But his list omits the work histories, photos and whereabouts of the accused men. Where these priests are now is important because nearby parents and prospective employers should be warned about their presence. That's the single best step Thompson could take to prevent more horrific crimes against more innocent kids, SNAP says.
Where they worked and how they look is important because that information helps victims identify them. (SNAP notes that it usually takes decades for victims to come forward, so they were hurt long ago. They might only recall that everyone called him "Father Mac," not knowing whether he was Fr. Mack Smith or Fr. McGillicuty or Fr. MacArthur. And even parents who are long-time parishioners may have trouble remembering a priest who may have worked in their church just a few months before mysteriously vanishing with no explanation or a vague explanation from the diocesan hierarchy.)
Every time an abuser remains hidden, kids remain at risk, SNAP maintains. “Disclosing the truth is the best way to safeguard the vulnerable, heal the wounded and help the church move forward,” SNAP says.
3) Finally, SNAP is begging anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes or cover ups in Indiana to contact Indiana’s attorney general who the group says should be investigating all of the state’s dioceses.
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.