CT- Victims to leaflet mass-goers
Victims to leaflet mass-goers
They “out” a predator priest for the first time
He's being sued but has never been publicly accused before
SNAP also warn parishioners about archbishop's “recklessness”
Group hands out “fact sheet” about his “most egregious” cases
As parishioners head into mass, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will
--publicly expose, for the first time, a Hartford/New Haven area predator priest who's being sued, and
–hand out a fact sheet about Hartford's relatively new Catholic archbishop & his “dreadful” role “concealing clergy sex crimes.”
Friday, Sept. 19 at 11:45 a.m.
Outside the Cathedral of St. Joseph, 140 Farmington Avenue (corner of Sigourney St.) in Hartford CT
Three-four men and women who are abuse victims and members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including an Ohio woman who exposed clergy sex crimes and cover ups by Hartford's relatively new archbishop when he headed the Toledo diocese for a decade (2003-2013).
An elderly, long time Hartford archdiocesan priest, who worked six towns in the New Haven/Hartford area, is being sued for reportedly molesting a child in the 1980s. He is Fr. Peter G. Mitchell, who sexually violated a boy in the priest's car and priest's home on Colony Road in New Haven. The civil suit has never been publicized before and Fr. Mitchell has never been publicly accused before. It is set to go to trial in November.
Fr. Mitchell is still alive, has apparently not been defrocked, and led a youth marching band called “The Emerald Cadets.”
He was ordained in 1951 and worked at parishes in Hartford, Derby, West Hartford, New Haven, Woodbridge, East Haven and (from 1998-2002) as a chaplain at St. Francis Hospital/Medical Center. The Official Catholic Directory lists him as “retired” in 2004.
Victims want Archbishop Leonard Blair, the archdiocese's relatively new top official, to warn the public about Fr. Mitchell and use parish bulletins, church websites and pulpit announcements to prod others who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by him to “come forward, get help, expose wrongdoers and protect kids and start healing.”
Prior to being promoted to Hartford, Archbishop Blair spent ten years as head of the Toledo diocese, where SNAP charges that he had a “terrible” record on clergy sex abuse and cover up cases there. The group will hand parishioners a “fact sheet” outlining some of the “most egregious” cases Blair oversaw while he was in Ohio. And a long time Toledo abuse advocate will detail her experiences exposing wrongdoing by Blair and his top aides.
Finally, SNAP will again urge Blair to post on his archdiocesan website the names, photos, whereabouts and work histories of the 33 publicly accused child molesting clerics who are or have been in the Hartford Archdiocese. Roughly 30 US bishops (including Bridgeport's) have done this. In SNAP's view, this is “the bare minimum” Catholic officials should do.
“Since bishops recruited, educated, ordained, hired, trained and transferred thousands of predator priests, the least they can do – to protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded- is disclose who and where these offenders are,” said Clohessy.
The lawsuit against Fr. Mitchell was filed in November 2012. The archdiocese is NOT a defendant in the case.
A copy of the suit is here: http://mcnamaraandgoodman.com/thomas-mcnamara/
The victim is identified as Edward Doe in court papers. He is represented by New Haven attorney Tom McNamara (203 782 9241, firstname.lastname@example.org). Over the past 22 years, McNamara has handled dozens of child sex abuse and cover up cases. Fr. Mitchell is represented by Hartford attorney Hubert Santos (860 249 6548, email@example.com).
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.