CT- Archbishop Blair's terrible record on clergy sex crimes and cover ups
1) Blair spent countless hours and tens of thousands of dollars to deny victims of child sexual abuse the ability to expose child molesters in court.
As a result, hundreds of child predators remain “under the radar” and walking freely in Ohio.
2) Blair refused to give police evidence in a murder investigation involving one of his priests
When Toledo police asked Blair for evidence in the murder of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl, Blair's staffers turned over just three pages of records about Fr. Gerald Robinson, who had long been a suspect in the 1980 slaying.
Fearing Blair and his staff were withholding records, Toledo police twice executed “no knock” search warrants on Toledo diocesan offices. They found scores of documents, some of which implicated Fr. Robinson.
Blair’s lawyers then went to court to block the release of what was found. Church officials won. To date, those files have never been released. (Fr. Robinson was convicted of Pahl's murder in 2006.)
3) Blair covered up credible allegations of "grooming" & inappropriate behavior by a teacher
For months, in 2010, Blair kept quiet about credible allegations of child sex crimes against Kevin Yeckley, a Catholic school teacher who admitted to “periodically” hugging a girl, hiring her, working “alone with her for several consecutive Saturdays” and telling her “he was . . .having uncomfortable feelings for her.”
Eventually, Yeckley was disciplined by state officials for "failing to maintain appropriate student-teacher boundaries."
Blair also kept mum about the allegations against Yeckley when he learned that a Catholic principal urged a public school to rehire the accused teacher. Blair also refused to discipline any church staff who also hid the allegations (Frank DiLallo, Rick Facciolo, Mike Gabel, Jack Altenburger, and Deb Streacker).
4) When an almost-ordained priest was busted with child porn, Blair kept quiet.
In June 2004, Deacon Michael Tynan was just a couple of days away from becoming an ordained priest when it was revealed that he was being investigated for child pornography. For the next four months, Blair and his staff hid the reason why Tynan was not ordained and claimed they were "ordered to keep quiet," a claim that the US Customs Service denied.
In 2005, Tynan was convicted of possession of more than 600 images of child sexual abuse.
5) Blair publicly honored at least one priest who was credibly accused of molesting children
A Toledo church building is named after Msgr. Michael Doyle who was accused three times of molesting kids. Despite repeated requests, Blair refused to change the building's name. He also refused to take the priest's picture down in a public area of the diocese headquarters building, even though a sex abuse and cover up case against Doyle and the diocese settled in 2004.
(For more info: SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests-SNAPnetwork.org, David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), PO Box 6416, Chicago, IL 60680-6416)
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.