AZ--At least 17 predator priests worked in AZ
At least 17 predator priests worked in AZ; SNAP responds
For immediate release: Tuesday, Dec. 16
According to disclosures today by a Catholic bishop, at least 17 credibly accused predator priests worked and lived in at least 26 Arizona towns (Chinle, Winslow, Holbrook, Page, Prescott, St. Johns, Concho, Kingman, Clarksdale, Ash Fork, Flagstaff, Seligman, Yarnell, Springerville, Lukachukai, Ft. Defiance, Tuba City, St. Michaels, Cottonwood, Camp Verde, Humboldt, Mayer, Leupp, Show Low, Cibecue and McNary).
Bishop James S. Wall of the Gallup Catholic Diocese revealed a list of 31 alleged child molesting clerics this morning. About half of them also spent time Arizona. Their names and Arizona assignments are below.
Now, we call on Arizona’s bishops to do more to protect the vulnerable, heal the wounded and expose the truth.
By disclosing names of 31 credibly accused predator priests, Wall has done the bare minimum. He and his Arizona colleagues must now:
-- reveal the predator priests’ photos, current whereabouts and detailed work histories
-- put all this information in every parish bulletin, along with an emphatic plea for anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups in Arizona or New Mexico to call police.
-- personally visit the parishes where these priests worked (starting with the predator who faces the most recent allegations) and beg victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to contact law enforcement.
-- write – and publicly disclose – letters to their brother bishops in whose dioceses some of these potentially dangerous men now live or work.
-- post their own lists of proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics on their own diocesan websites.
Many of these 31 child molesting clerics now live or work around unsuspecting neighbors. Having been suspended from active parish ministry does not “cure” them of their frightening sexual attraction to children.
If an Arizona manufacturer knew of dozens of potentially dangerous sites where its toxic waste was hidden, but kept most of this information concealed for decades, there would justifiably be a huge public outcry. And if, belatedly and grudgingly, the CEO had finally disclosed those sites, there would justifiably be pressure for him or her to do more.
So we beg Tucson Bishop Gerald Kicanas and Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted to take these simple, proven, and inexpensive steps to warn parents, parishioners and the public about predator priests.
NOTE – According to BishopAccountability.org, there are 34 publicly accused predator priests in the Tucson diocese and 27 in the Phoenix diocese.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 and have more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website isSNAPnetwork.org)
Here are some of the credibly accused priests who worked in both New Mexico and Arizona:
Fr. Michael Baca, OFM (Deceased) - Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Chinle AZ (1978)
Fr. George Baz - St. Joseph Parish, Winslow AZ (07/1968-09/1968)
Fr. John Boland - Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Holbrook AZ (1975), Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Page AZ (1978), Madre de Dios Parish, Winslow AZ (1980-1983)
Fr. Charles Cichanowicz - St. Michaels Parish, St. Michaels AZ (1980)
Fr. David Clark - Sacred Heart, Prescott AZ (06/1960 - 07/1960)
Fr. Timothy Conlon - St. John the Baptist Parish, St. Johns AZ (11/2011 - 12/2013), San Rafael Parish, Concho AZ (11/2011 - 12/2013)
Fr. Joseph Coutu - Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Holbrook AZ (12/1981 - 1983)
Fr. John Degnan (Deceased) - St. Mary, Kingman AZ (1951), St. Cecilia, Clarksdale AZ (1952 - 1961), St. Ann, Ash Fork AZ (1952 - 1961), Madre de Dios Parish, Winslow AZ (06/1961 - 09/1961)
Fr. Robert J. Kirsch (Deceased) - Our Lady of Guadalupe, Flagstaff AZ (1957), St. Francis, Seligman AZ (1959 - 1962), Madre de Dios Parish, Winslow AZ (1963 - 1964)
Fr. Rene Messier - St. Mary Mediatrix of all Graces, Yarnell AZ (1961-1963), St. Anne, Ashfork AZ (1963)
Fr. Lucien Meurnier (Deceased) - St. Joseph Parish, Winslow AZ (08/1972 - 06/1973)
Fr. John Newton - St. Joseph Parish, Winslow AZ (10/1955 - 1957), St. Peter Parish, Springerville AZ (05/1957 - 1959)
Fr. William Roper - Sacred Heart, Prescott AZ (1964-1965)
Fr. Raul Sanchez - Madre de Dios Parish, Winslow AZ (07/1975 - 10/1976)
Fr. Lawrence Schreiber - St. Isabel Parish, Lukachukai AZ (1961 - 1962), St. Michaels Parish, St. Michaels AZ (1962 - 1963), Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Parish, Ft. Defiance AZ (1963 - 1968), St. Jude Parish, Tuba City AZ (1969 - 1976), St. Isabel Parish, Lukachukai AZ (1981 - 1983), St. Michaels Parish, St. Michaels AZ (1983 - 1986), Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Parish, Ft. Defiance AZ (1990 - 1991)
Fr. David Enrique Viramontes (Deceased) - Our Lady of Guadalupe, Flagstaff AZ (06/1958 - 07/1959), St. Joseph Parish, Winslow AZ (07/1959 - 07/1960), Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Holbrook AZ (07/1960 - 01/1961), St. Pius X, Flagstaff AZ (01/1961)
Fr. Samuel Wilson (Deceased) - Church of the Nativity, Flagstaff AZ (1952), Church of the Nativity, Flagstaff AZ (1958), St. John the Baptist Parish, St. Johns AZ (10/1958 - 1960), Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Holbrook AZ (1961), St. Cecelia Parish, Clarkdale AZ (07/1961 - 1962), Immaculate Conception, Cottonwood AZ (07/1961 - 1962), St. Francis Cabrini, Camp Verde AZ (1962 - 1964), St. Lawrence, Humboldt AZ (1963 - 1964), St. Joseph, Mayer AZ (1963 - 1964), Madre de Dios Parish, Winslow AZ (08/1964 - 12/1965), Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Flagstaff AZ (09/1968 - 1969), Tolani Lake Indian, Leupp AZ (1970 - 1971), St. Rita Parish, Show Low AZ (1974 - 1975), St. Catherine Parish, Cibecue AZ (1976 - 1979), St. Anthony Parish, McNary AZ (1980)
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.