For immediate release: Thursday, Aug. 1
Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, president of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com)
Credibly accused Catholic cleric works now in Pope’s home diocese
14 Credibly accused yet information remains secret
We’re here today because we just learned this week about Br. Richard Suttle’s presence in Argentina. We’re here today because the Claretians are putting kids in harm’s way. And we’re here to warn Chicago parents and the public about these dangerous and potentially dangerous child molesters.
There are fourteen accused predator priests from the religious community, the Claretian Missionaries, yet their identities are not posted on diocesan websites and their whereabouts remain largely unknown, leaving children at risk.
We beg every single person who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes or cover ups by Claretians to call law enforcement. That’s the way we protect kids – by reporting crimes and potential crimes to the independent professionals in law enforcement, not to self-serving and biased church officials.
Now, let's talk about spin and hair-splitting. Because that's what we predict the Claretians will do. They'll likely back away from or even discredit their own finding that the allegation against Suttle is "credible." They'll likely claim that "credible" only means "possible." That's baloney.
They can't have it both ways. The church's allegedly binding child sex abuse policy plainly says that no cleric with a credible allegation of abuse can be in a church job. The Claretians told other church officials Suttle was "credibly accused." The determination was made after what church officials call "a thorough investigation into the charges" against Suttle.
Furthermore, according to Catholic officials, the Claretians then "removed him from any ministry involving minors and put him "on a plan that restricts and monitors his movements."
And in the five years since, as best we can tell, no church official has disputed or changed this finding.
So it's disingenuous if the Claretians now try to re-write history, spin the facts, and debate, like a desperate Bill Clinton did, what "is" is.
Brother Richard Suttle, as best we can tell, hasn’t faced and isn’t facing criminal charges and hasn’t been convicted.
But because of the ongoing secrecy of Catholic officials, we can’t be sure.
We are sure, however, of the following:
--that Br. Suttle has been deemed “credibly accused” by his own supervisors, the Chicago- based Claretians.
--that Catholic officials have promised – repeatedly for at least the last 11 years – that no “credibly accused” cleric would be put or kept in ministry.
--that with Brother Suttle, Catholic officials are breaking this promise.
--that those same Catholic officials have promised – repeatedly for at least the last 11 years – that they would be “open” about clergy sex abuse and cover up cases.
--that with Brother Suttle, Catholic officials are breaking this promise too.
--that kids in developing countries are even more vulnerable to child predators, countries like Argentina (where Suttle has been sent now), and Nigeria (where he was sent two years ago) and Cameroon (where he was sent right after he was accused).
--that 30 US bishops have posted names of credibly accused clerics on their websites, but the Claretians and virtually every other religious order refuses to take this bare minimum safety step.
--that at least 13 other Claretians are proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesting clerics. Of those, at least three have worked in Chicago.
--that Catholic officials – with religious orders like the Claretians and archdioceses like Chicago – have a moral and civic duty to fully, voluntarily and promptly share what they know and suspect about proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesters, and finally
--that Catholic officials, even now, very rarely do this.
Here are some details about the three credibly accused Claretians who worked in Chicago:
--Fr. William Paiz
In a civil child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit filed on 1/31/12, Paiz is accused of abusing a child between 1982-1987. During that time, he was assigned to All Saints Church in Fort Worth and then as religion teacher at Nolan Catholic High School where the alleged victim was a student. He left the Fort Worth Diocese around 1987 and went on to work in California and Nevada for many years. He was transferred to the Claretian provincial house in the Chicago area in 2010 after Plaintiff's complaints to FW. The lawsuit settled 11/21/12.
--Fr. Thomas Paramo
In May 2005, a woman filed suit accusing the Claretians of protecting Paramo after he abused her from ages 11-15 (beginning in 1966). Paramo was assigned to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Chicago at the time. Paramo died in a nursing home in 2004 but the woman had confronted him there before his death. A second accuser has also contacted the woman's attorney.
--Fr. Eusebio Pantoja
He was ordained in Mexico. In 2003, he was sued and put on leave for alleged abusing a 14 year old youth in the 1970s. After working in Chicago, Pantoja worked in New Jersey and Texas and then spent nearly a decade working as priest in Mexico.
We’re here today because we just learned this week about Br. Suttle’s presence in Argentina. We’re here today because the Claretians are putting kids in harm’s way. And we’re here to warn Chicago parents and the public about these dangerous and potentially dangerous child molesters.
We beg every single person who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes or cover ups by Claretians to call law enforcement. That’s the way we protect kids – by reporting crimes and potential crimes to the independent professionals in law.