For immediate release: Friday, June 20, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
A priest who was sued by a Sacramento attorney for child sex crimes has quietly been working in Mexico, but was recently suspended by his bishop.
Fr. Jeffrey Newell is one of seven Tijuana priests who have been temporarily ousted for alleged child sexual abuse.
It's tragic that this predator priest has apparently struck again. It's even more tragic because these devastating crimes could have been prevented if only Catholic officials in California and Mexico had acted responsibly. They have many resources – parish bulletins, websites and pulpit announcements – that they could and should have used to warn families about Fr. Newell.
Fr. Newell should have never been given a church job in Mexico. At the least, he should have been suspended – if not defrocked – years ago. Catholic bishops in both places should be ashamed of themselves for knowingly letting this dangerous cleric be around children.
We hope that every single person who saw, suspected or suffered Fr. Newell's crimes will speak up, get help, call police, expose wrongdoers, protect kids and start healing.
(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 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 is SNAPnetwork.org)