IL--Two more predator priests “outed”
Two more predator priests “outed”
They molested in other states & were sent to Springfield
And another six from Chicago may have been here too
Victims want local bishop to “come clean” about them
SNAP” “Are predators from elsewhere still in this area?”
Sex abuse victims to diocese: “How many others are you hiding?”
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will disclose the names of two out-of-state predator priests who worked in the Springfield area and six more who likely spent time in Springfield as well. (None of the eight have ever been “outed” in or by the Springfield diocese or media.) The group will urge local Catholic officials to
-- “come clean” about all eight child molesting clerics,
-- disclose whether other out-of-town pedophile priests are in Springfield now,
-- beg anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered their crimes to call police, and
-- permanently post, for the sake of public safety, the names of every predator priest who was (or is) in the Springfield diocese on local church websites
Wednesday, March 3 at 1:00 p.m.
On the sidewalk outside the Catholic Pastoral Center (a.k.a. diocesan headquarters or chancery), 1615 West Washington Street, Springfield, IL (217-698-8500)
Two-three victims of clergy sexual abuse who belong to a Chicago-based support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, including two-three Springfield men and a St. Louis man who is the organization’s long-time director
Two out-of-state predator priests worked in the Springfield diocese, SNAP has learned, and six Chicago predator priests may have done so too. As best SNAP can tell, there’s been no public mention of any of these eight accused clerics in the Springfield area - either in news accounts or church publications.
The group is urging Bishop Thomas Paprocki to “come clean” about these other predator priests.
--1) The two out-of-state priests who DEFINITELY WERE in the Springfield area are Fr. Frank R. Martinez Jr. of Iowa and Fr. James Vincent Fitzgerald of South Dakota.
In 2008, Fr. Martinez was deemed “credibly accused” of child sex abuse by Davenport diocesan officials. He reportedly molested at least one kid in Iowa. Later, he was sent to St. Mary’s hospital in Decatur.
In 2013, Fr. Fitzgerald was sued for reportedly assaulting one kid in Minnesota and in 2010 for molesting two kids in South Dakota. He worked at St. Joseph Novitiate in Godfrey. (And from 1994-2002, he lived at a church facility in Belleville.)
(Catholic officials must soon release more church records about Fr. Fitzgerald, thanks to a ruling last month in a pending civil abuse case against him in Minnesota.
--2) The six Chicago priests who MAY HAVE been in the Springfield diocese are Fr. David F. Braun, Fr. Eugene P. Burns, Fr. William J. Cloutier, Fr. Norbert J. Maday, Fr. Robert E. Mayer and Fr. Kenneth C. Runge.
Long-secret church documents, made public recently through civil lawsuits, show that during one year, all six of the Chicago predators were mysteriously listed in the Official Catholic Directory as having a Springfield area phone number after they were ousted from their Chicago parishes for alleged abuse. This suggests that they also spent time in the Springfield diocese.
Internet searches show that the phone – 217 324 4192 - is a Litchfield land line. (As best SNAP can tell, the only Catholic facility in Litchfield is Holy Family parish, though there reportedly was once a second Catholic church in the town.)
This revelation leads SNAP to question whether Springfield Catholic officials have let – and may still be letting - other bishops send child molesting clerics here.
“We fear that, for years, Springfield church officials knowingly put Litchfield families in harm’s way by hiding Chicago predators in this small town,” said David Clohessy of SNAP. “And we know for certain that, for years, Springfield church officials have known about – and kept silent about - credible child sex charges against priests who've been sent here to work. Obviously, these priests may have abused Springfield kids. Bishop Thomas Paprocki should be honest with his flock about these predators and should aggressively reach out to anyone here who they may have hurt.”
For “the safety of kids and the healing of victims,” SNAP also wants Springfield church officials to permanently post on both the diocesan and parish websites the names, photos, whereabouts and work histories of every proven, admitted or credibly accused cleric (priest, nun, bishop, seminarian or church worker) who have been or are in the diocese. The group also feels Paprocki should personally visit parishes where the priests worked and beg anyone with information or suspicions about their crimes to step forward to law enforcement.
Roughly 30 US bishops have posted predators’ names like this on their websites, according to BishopAccountability.org - http://www.bishop-accountability.org/AtAGlance/lists.htm
Photos of nearly every one of these eight priests are at BishopAccountability.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.