INTL- Priest with abuse allegations may have been suspended
For immediate release: Monday, July 28, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
A controversial Catholic priest who has been accused of molesting boys in the US and had been second-in-command of a diocese in Paraguay has now allegedly been removed from ministry. If this is true, we are glad that this action has been taken but it should have happened months ago and he should never have been put back on the job, much less won a promotion.
Catholic officials let Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity move from Pennsylvania to the South American country even though a therapist recommended that Fr. Urrutigoity "be removed from active ministry; his faculties should be revoked; he should be asked to live privately," because of "the credible allegation from (a victim)" and the priest's "admitted practice of sleeping with boys and young men."
SNAP has been demanding that this dangerous predator be ousted since March.
Instead, Catholic officials let a credibly accused child molesting cleric move abroad, live and work among unsuspecting families and potentially hurt more innocent kids.
Transferring predator priests to different dioceses or countries is dreadfully irresponsible. It is a dangerous and self-serving practice that two United Nations Committees have condemned. An investigation should be done to determine which Catholic officials were involved in this recklessness and they should be publicly and severely punished.
In a global institution, the real way to protect kids is to make sweeping reform, not to take individual half-measured steps, in case after case after case, and only when forced to do so by public pressure. That suggests a self-serving pre-occupation with public relations, not a genuine commitment to children's safety.
(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.