Canada--Accused priest is allegedly “cleared” by police; Victims respond
For immediate release: Monday, Dec. 5, 2016
We are disappointed but not surprised that a criminal investigation into an accused predator priest has ended without formal charges. We doubt, however, that he has “convinced police he’s innocent.” (We suspect police simply lack adequate proof to move forward, which of course does NOT mean the accused is innocent.)
And we’re highly skeptical of Catholic officials that they’ll do some kind of “internal investigation” into the cleric. In our experience, such probes are usually “whitewashes” done largely for public relations purposes.
“Fr. Bill Moloney (of Immaculate Conception Church) had been removed from his post in early November after a complaint was filed to Haliburton OPP about an incident at Camp Northern Lights, where he is the director,” according to Peterborough This Week.
The paper also reported that the priest “had convinced police he was innocent of allegations of sexual misconduct.” Again, we’re highly suspicion of this claim. We urge police to correct this if in fact it leaves a false impression.
We also urge Fr. Moloney’s supervisors to be more forthcoming about these allegations and aggre3ssively seek out others – using church websites, parish bulletins and pulpit announcements - who may have information or suspicions about this priest or other church staff.
Shame on Deirdre Thomas, spokesperson for the Peterborough diocese for using vague, minimizing mischaracterizations. She called the child sex abuse report and the police investigation "matters that have arisen recently." If you can’t call something what it is, how can you possibly investigate or prevent it?
Church “investigations” into alleged child sex crimes are inherently problematic.
Just today, in New Jersey, it’s been revealed that an abuse report against a priest 13 years ago had been kept quiet. The priest kept working. And a few weeks ago, he was arrested on child pornography charges.
(He’s Fr. Kevin Gugliotta.)
Just last week in Kentucky, a priest who’d been purportedly “cleared” by his Catholic supervisors, and put back on the job, was found guilty of child sex crimes by a jury.
(He’s Fr. R. Joseph Hemmerle.)
We applaud the alleged victim for reporting and law enforcement for investigating the case.
Child sex abuse cases are very hard. They’re even harder when defendants are well-educated priests backed by powerful church officials. It takes real courage, by a number of people, to protect kids and achieve justice in these tough cases.
Instead of reporting known or suspected crimes or cover ups to church figures, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in, schools, churches or institutions – especially Catholic ones – to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has 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)
Peterborough priest cleared of allegations of sexual misconduct: diocese
Peterborough This Week by Lois Tuffin
Parishioners at Immaculate Conception Church broke out in applause on Saturday evening as they learned their parish priest had convinced police he was innocent of allegations of sexual misconduct.
Fr. Bill Moloney had been removed from . . .
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.