CA- New accused cleric exposed in LA
New accused cleric exposed in LA
When "outed" in AZ, he was sent overseas
He's now still on the job in Pope's home country
SNAP to archbishop: “You must demand his return”
“Reach out to all possible victims,” support group begs
Holding signs and photos of themselves at a sidewalk press conference, victims of sexual abuse will:
--Expose a credibly accused cleric who recently lived and worked in LA,
--Show how he lived with families with kids, and
--Explain how he was sent overseas when he was publicly accused of child sex crimes in Arizona.
They will also urge Catholic officials (in the LA archdiocese & in a religious order) to:
--Demand that the cleric immediately return to the United States
--Aggressively seek out others in LA who saw, suspected or suffered his crimes, and
--Announce the accusations against him in parish bulletins and on the archdiocesan website.
Outside of the offices of the Lay Mission-Helpers Association
3435 Wilshire Blvd. (at Normandie), Suite 1940, Los Angeles
Friday, May 2 at 11 am
5-6 victims of sexual abuse who are members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPNetwork.org), the nation's largest support group for men and women abused as kids in religious or institutional settings. They will be joined by a St. Louis man who the organization's long-time executive director.
Members of SNAP recently learned that a credibly accused cleric lived and worked with vulnerable missionary families in Los Angeles.
Brother Richard Suttle, a member of the Claretian Missionary order, was accused in 2008 of sexually abusing a child in the Phoenix Diocese in the 1980s. Church officials said the allegations were credible. When SNAP exposed this allegation in 2013, Claretian officials admitted that they sent Suttle to Argentina. They say the cleric is being monitored and has been "removed from any ministry with children." http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-accused-clergyman-was-sent-to-argentina-chicagobased-religious-order-says-20130801,0,216928.story
But he is still on the job, SNAP says, with a Claretian UN team. Now living in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he's almost certainly among vulnerable and unsuspecting families who know nothing of the accusations against him.
Claretian officials also claim that they restricted Suttle's ministry 2008: http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news13/2008_12_18_CatholicSun_CommunityNotification_Richard_Suttle_2.htm However, they allowed him to work with children in Nigera as late as 2011. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-accused-clergyman-was-sent-to-argentina-chicagobased-religious-order-says-20130801,0,216928.story.
While in Los Angeles in 2001-2002, Suttle worked as executive director of the Lay Mission Helpers. http://www.bishop-accountability.org/Claretians/Newsletters/2012_02_15_Claretians_East_Nigeria_Province_Newsletter.pdf. The Lay Mission Helpers is the Catholic organization responsible for training missionaries and helping families transition into and out of overseas missionary assignments http://www.laymissionhelpers.org/. At the time, the Helpers were a part of the Los Angeles Archdiocese. They split off into an independent organization in 2003. Other executive directors of the organization lived at or spent nights overnight at Helper home(s).
"We fear that Brother Suttle may have hurt kids who lived in Helpers housing," said David Clohessy of St Louis, SNAP executive director. "These are children who are very vulnerable, about to move abroad or are home for the first time in years. They are confused, excited and scared. A predator will easily take advantage of that."
The group wants the Helpers and the archdiocese to reach out to anyone who may have been lived in Lay Mission Helpers Housing. If Suttle did abuse there, SNAP believes there is a good chance that he could be criminally prosecuted.
"Often Catholic officials send credibly accused predators overseas to avoid prosecution," Clohessy said. "The Claretians should do their civic and moral duty and insist that he come back to the US. They should return and for them to find any potential victims and let them know of their civil and criminal rights."
At least one other credibly accused child molesting cleric worked at Lay Mission Helpers. He is Msgr. Joseph Alzugaray who worked in the LA archdiocese and the Santa Rosa diocese. A Catholic abuse board found the child sex abuse accusations against Suttle “credible and a child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit against him settled in 2007.
LA Archbishop Jose Gomez will likely claim he has no supervisory power over Brother Suttle. But SNAP says that since Suttle worked in the LA archdiocese, Gomez can and should, for the sake of public safety, use his “bully pulpit,” parish bulletins and church websites to warn parishioners and the public about him.
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.