Another priest accused in Erie diocese: SNAP responds

For immediate release, Sept. 10, 2018

Statement by: Judy Jones, SNAP Volunteer Midwest Regional Leader: 636-433-2511, SNAPjudy@gmail.com

We have just now learned that another priest has been removed from the Erie Diocese while allegations of child sexual abuse are investigated.

http://www.erienewsnow.com/story/39053113/another-priest-removed-from-ministry-in-diocese-of-erie

While we have no first hand information about these allegations, we know that studies show that false claims of sexual abuse are extremely rare. Although Bishop Lawrence Persico said, "This is a very difficult time for the Catholic Church", it is imperative that Catholics understand that it is even more difficult for victims who have endured being sexually violated by a priest. Each and every one of them should all be thanked and  commended for their courage in coming forward. Their bravery helps to protect today's children from similar suffering.
 
We urge others to speak up if they have information about the allegations against Father Charles R. (Chuck) Schmitt, or any other priest in the Erie Diocese. We also encourage Bishop Persico to go to every parish where Father Schmitt worked and beg anyone with knowledge about the charges to contact law enforcement. It is always a crime to sexually abuse a minor.

We are very encouraged that victims who are still suffering in silence and shame are coming forward, we urge them to contact police no matter how long ago it happened, not the Church. Those who were abused in Pennsylvania should also call the Attorney General's Clergy Abuse Hotline at 888-538-8541.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, is the world's oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 25,000 supporters. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org ) 

Contact  -   Judy Jones, (636-433-2511, snapjudy@gmail.com), Tim Lennon (415-312-5820, tlennon@SNAPnetwork.org), Becky Ianni (703-801-6044, snapvirginia@cox.net)

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