CA - Los Angeles archbishop seeks national post
For immediate release: Monday, October 21, 2013
Statement by David Clohessy of SNAP, 314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com
Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez is running for the presidency of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. We hope he fails.
When hundreds of embarrassing pages about cover ups were disclosed in 2013 in Los Angeles, Gomez finally slapped the hand of his corrupt predecessor, Cardinal Roger Mahony, allegedly forbidding Mahony from public ministry. Then, after the public outcry subsided, Gomez essentially reneged and let Mahony resume his public role in the archdiocese.
And Gomez refused to discipline any other church official who had ignored, concealed or enabled heinous child sex crimes.
Gomez has continued to pay for high-priced lawyers to continue to fight victims in their quest for justice, including victims of Nicolas Aguilar Rivera, whose cases are going to trial next year.
In the past few months, he has spent thousands of dollars and used the pulpit to fight California SB 131, which would have given some victims of sexual abuse in California the right to use the civil justice system to seek justice and expose their perpetrator thereby protecting children.
When he headed a Texas archdiocese, Gomez’ record was no better than it’s been in LA.
For at least five times in as many years, we released names of credibly accused child molesting San Antonio Catholic clerics.
One was Fr. Donald J. Joyce. In a 2006 civil lawsuit filed in Massachusetts, Joyce is accused of “repeated explicit, lewd and lascivious behavior” against an 11 year old in 1977 at Sacred Heart Parish in Lowell MA (in the Boston Archdiocese). That suit was settled though amount of the settlement was not disclosed. Gomez who kept silent about the accusations and lawsuit and settlement involving Joyce.
Then, we publicly disclosed that between 1949-1992, Fr. Thomas Behnke worked at seven churches in the San Antonio archdiocese and that a $4.65 million settlement was made with six of his victims.
In 2009, we revealed that Fr. Charles H. Miller (who had recently worked in San Antonio) was “credibly accused” of “sexual misconduct” against a local teen in 1980. Also in 2009, we publicly disclosed that Br. Richard A. Suttle was living in a San Antonio parish despite having been suspended for allegedly molesting a child in the 1980s
In 2008, we disclosed that three former San Antonio priests have moved to foreign countries after having been credibly accused of molesting kids here (Michael Kenney, believed to be in Ireland, Jose Luis Sandoval, believed to be in Mexico, and Alfredo Prado, believed to be in Costa Rica).
In each of these cases it was SNAP, not Gomez or other church officials, who alerted the public to these predators.
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.