FL- New child sexual abuse lawsuit filed, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Wednesday, August 13, 2014
A new child sex abuse lawsuit has been filed against Fr. William Authenrieth who is apparently still alive and living in Massachusetts.
We urge Orlando Bishop John Noonan to urge his colleagues in Massachusetts to warn the public and their parishioners about Fr. Authenrieth, who has been accused of or sued for child sex crimes at least five times. That's the least Noonan can do to protect children. (After all, Florida Catholic officials recruited, educated, hired, trained, shielded and transferred Fr. Authenrieth. They can't simply suspend him from parish work and do nothing more to seek out those he has hurt and safeguard those he may hurt.)
Some might argue that, given his age (about 80), Fr. Authenrieth isn't likely assaulting children now. They would be wrong.
It takes only seconds for a man to shove his hands down a boy's pants or his tongue down a girl's throat. And who would parents or kids trust more than an elderly, balding, stoop-shouldered, grandfatherly-looking figure?
It's irresponsible for anyone to assume that because a child molester is older, he's somehow safer.
We urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered Fr. Authenrieth's crimes to come forward, 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)
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.