Guam- Abuse victims blast priest & archbishop
For immediate release: Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Abuse victims blast priest & archbishop
Twice-accused cleric lived in Guam for years
SNAP: Archbishop knew about abuse but did nothing
Now exposed, child molesting cleric heads to Bay Area
A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is blasting a twice-accused Catholic predator priest for "hurtful, self-aggrandizing comments" he made as he left Guam for California.
Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are criticizing Fr. John H. Wadeson for calling accusations about his alleged abuse “viciousness and lies ... about me and our (Archbishop Anthony Apuron).”
Fr. Wadeson worked in Hagatna in Guam until a few days ago, when SNAP publicly exposed that he has been accused of abuse twice and has been banned from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
Archbishop Apuron then suspended Fr. Wadeson. The comments were made after Wadeson was removed.
The information about Fr. Wadeson was on the internet and posted in Los Angeles Archdiocese documents dating back to 2004. Guam Catholics have also publicly called on the Archbishop to take action.
SNAP believes that Apuron's behavior is dangerous.
“Apuron knew that Fr. Wadeson was a predator and had been banned from Los Angeles, but he simply didn't care,” said Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, SNAP Western Regional Director. “That behavior is unacceptable, reckless, and against common morality.”
While in Guam, Fr. Wadeson was a powerful priest with close ties to Apuron. They are pictured together on numerous websites and Fr. Wadeson even traveled with Apuron to Hawaii to celebrate the Archbishop's 30th anniversary. Victims are scared that Fr. Wadeson's comments show that he has no understanding of his past and is an even greater risk to children.
“Fr. Wadeson should never have been allowed to work in Guam,” said Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP's outreach director. “And when local Catholics became upset, Apuron acted like a bully, silencing his critics and defending a banned priest."
The group has heard that Fr. Wadeson is now on his way to San Francisco, where it is rumored that he may have “faculties,” which would enable him to keep working as a priest.
“We beg church officials in California to ensure that Fr. Wadeson is exposed and not allowed to act as a priest,” Casteix said.
“We urge anyone who saw, suspects or suffered child sex crimes to immediately speak up, call police, protect children and start healing,” said Dorris. “We also want Archbishop Apuron to do what roughly 30 US bishops have done: post on his website, for the sake of public safety, the names, photos and whereabouts of all child molesting clerics who are or have been in Guam.”
(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.
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.