- Accused abusive priest is quietly reassigned
- He was sued in 2004 in Joliet for molesting a boy
- Now, new internal church records show he’s in Missouri
- Lawsuit against him was settled, but church officials stay mum
- SNAP: “None of predator’s neighbors know of his presence or his past
- Group urges new bishop & Franciscans to “reach out to others in pain”
Holding signs and childhood photos a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will disclose that a Catholic priest who was suspended and sued for molesting a Joliet boy has quietly been moved out of state. (That suit has been settled.)
They will also prod local Catholic officials to
--explain and apologize for their “recklessness” and “secrecy,”
--disclose whether others have also accused the priest, and
--reveal details of that settlement.
The victims will also
-- beg church officials to warn others about the predator, and
-- urge others who saw, suspected or suffered his crimes or misdeeds to come forward
WHEN: TODAY, Wednesday, Nov. 2. 11:30 a.m.
WHERE: Outside the Joliet diocese headquarters/chancery, 425 Summit St. in Joliet
WHO: Two-four members of a confidential support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a Chicago woman who is the group’s founder and president
Late last week, SNAP was anonymously sent a copy an internal church memo listing new assignments for Franciscan clerics. It indicates that Fr. Jeffrey Salwach is now working for the Franciscans in a residential neighborhood in St. Louis MO.
In 2003, Salwach was suspended for credible child sex abuse allegations. In 2004, he was sued for molesting a boy. That suit has since settled.
Within a mile of the friary are five day care centers, four elementary schools and a park with a playground. As best SNAP can tell, no neighbors have been warned about Salwach.
In 2002, America’s bishops pledged to put the safety of kids first, keep credibly accused predator priests out of ministry and be ‘open’ about clergy sex cases. In this instance, the group maintains, Catholic officials are violating all three promises.
Salwach also worked at churches and Catholic institutions in Quincy IL, Galena, AK, Parma, OH, San Antonio, TX, and Ruston LA. A Chicago native, Salwach was ordained in 1984.
The regional head of the Franciscans is Fr. William Spencer (314-353-3421, Provincial@TheFriars.org, ProvincialOffice@TheFriars.org). A St. Louis lawyer who represents the Franciscans is Catherine A. Schroeder (314-552-6000).
SNAP is holding a similar event today in St. Louis, handing out fliers to homeowners near Salwach’s new residence, warning them about his past.