AZ- Priest accused of abusing mentally disabled man, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Friday, June 06, 2014
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-503-0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
An Arizona priest is facing a civil complaint over allegations that he abused a mentally disabled person. We are grateful to the brave victim for stepping forward and working to expose the truth.
The complaint also alleges that the Diocese of Tucson and the Diocese of El Paso were aware of the risk the priest posed and did nothing. We hope church officials come clean about what they knew about this dangerous priest.
Fr. Richard Zamorano, a former teacher at Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson, allegedly befriended the victim and then sexually assaulted him. We want church officials in Tucson and El Paso to come clean about everything they know about this priest. It is not enough to simply suspend him.
Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson and Bishop Mark Seitz should visit every parish Zamorano worked and beg witnesses, whistleblowers, and victims to come forward and report to secular officials. They should post Zamorano’s name, photo, and work history on parish bulletins and websites.
Children and vulnerable persons are kept safe when officials are open and honest about sex crimes.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 18,000 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 is SNAPnetwork.org)
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.
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.