CA - Catholic cleric, accused of abuse, still on the job
Accused cleric still on the job
He allegedly molested in Los Angeles
Now, his supervisors have sent him to MA
There, he's works as a chaplain in a shopping mall
A Catholic cleric who was accused of abusing a child in the Los Angeles area now works as a chaplain at a Massachusetts mall.
He is Br. Damien Chong, who belongs to a religious order known as the Carmelites.
“We want to warn the public about this potentially dangerous cleric," said David Clohessy of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "We believe LA Archbishop Jose Gomez, Boston Archbishop Sean O’Malley, and Chong’s direct supervisors should suspend him and aggressively seek out others he may have hurt."
“We don’t know a great deal about the allegations against Br. Chong,” Clohessy stressed. “But Los Angeles Catholic officials revealed and posted a notice about him on line, along with credible allegations against dozens of other child molesting clerics, most of whom faced civil abuse and cover up lawsuits that settled.
The allegations against Chong's name surfaced publicly in an LA church officials called a “supplemental” list of 49 accused clerics that the archdiocese quietly posted on its website last year.
“We were surprised to learn that, despite this, his Catholic supervisors are keeping him on the job,” Clohessy said.
Chong is on the staff of the St. Therese Carmelite Chapel at the North Shore Mall in Peabody MA.
Chong twice taught at Crispi Carmelite High School in Encino (1963-1967 and 1984-1989). He also taught at Mt. Carmel High School in Los Angeles (from 1967-1974). That school closed in 1976.
Chong also spent time as a cleric in Washington, DC and Akron, Ohio.
“We’re worried each time a cleric is accused in one place and then moved by his church supervisors somewhere else and still given a job where he might have access to kids,” said SNAP’s Barbara Dorris.
Yesterday, SNAP held a news conference in Chicago about Chong. He worked there for about a decade.
Catholic officials in California, Massachusetts, and Illinois, should announce the allegations against Chong, and “beg anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered any crimes or misdeeds of his to call police, expose wrongdoing, protect others and start healing,” Clohessy said.
Chong reportedly lives at Our Lady of the Scapular Priory in Peabody.
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.