For immediate release: Thursday, February 20, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
The Vatican has tapped a cleric from a scandal-ridden archdiocese to be an auxiliary bishop of Miami.
Msgr. Peter Baldacchino has won the promotion, though he comes from the Newark Archdiocese with 42 publicly identified predator priests and a long, shameful history of protecting child molesting clerics over innocent, vulnerable children. That history continues to the present day.
We know almost nothing about Msgr. Baldacchino but this much is clear: he has shown no real courage or compassion in one of the worst archdioceses in the US for clergy sex abuse victims. We see no evidence that he has ever said or done a single thing to break with the self-serving and irresponsible actions of his Newark colleagues, who continue to put kids in harm's way and maintain secrecy at all costs.
The list of clergy sex abuse and cover up cases in New Jersey that have been handled in a dreadful way is long. Perhaps the two worst are those involving Fr. Michael Fugee and Fr. Carmine Sita.
--Fugee admitted molesting a boy but recanted. In a plea deal, Newark Catholic officials agreed to keep him away from kids. But last year, the Star Ledger found that archdiocesan staff broke that agreement.
--Sita admitted molesting a New Jersey boy, legally changed his name (to Jerry Howard) and was quietly sent to a Missouri parish where he's accused of molesting several more boys.
Two other accused Newark clerics are still on the job: Fr. Pecklers and Fr. Granstrand.
Other troubling Newark cases involve these clerics: Fr. Chabak, Fr. Capparelli, and Fr. Kenneth L. Martin.
We hope that Miami citizens and Catholics will treat their new auxiliary bishop with considerable skepticism. We strongly suspect that he will continue the long-standing and deeply rooted self-serving patterns of secrecy that have long plagued the Catholic hierarchy in child sex cases.
(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 15,000 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)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747,SNAPblaine@gmail.com), Mark Crawford (732-632-7687, firstname.lastname@example.org)