Media Statements

TX--Archbishop lets suspended priest work again

For immediate release, Friday, August 19, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy, Director, SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) 314 566 9790davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

San Antonio's archbishop is letting a priest who was suspended for sexual misconduct quietly work in his archdiocese. He should reverse this reckless decision.

http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/Popular--390635601.html

Last year, Fr. Marco Mercado was stopped from working in the Chicago archdiocese because of "an inappropriate adult relationship." These are the words used by Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich. Note he didn't say "ALLEGED relationship." Nor did he say "one time incident." http://www.archchicago.org/

This was, we strongly suspect, a repeated series of selfish, hurtful violations of a vulnerable young person, one who was likely taught since birth to revere and trust priests. And every sexual contact between a Catholic cleric and a Catholic parishioner is, by definition, improper and unhealthy, in part because of the huge power differential between the two. 

Cupich and San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller are doing what bishops have done for decades: splitting hairs and making excuses instead of protecting parishioners. 

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IL -- Chicago archbishop lets suspended priest work again

For Immediate release: Friday, August 19, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy, Director, SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) 314 566 9790, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

Chicago's archbishop is letting a priest he suspended for sexual misconduct quietly go back to work in another state. That's wrong and reckless.

http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/Popular--390635601.html

Archbishop Blase Cupich is allowing Fr. Marco Mercado to resume priestly functions in San Antonio Texas, under an archbishop there who was once a bishop in Chicago. Just last year, Cupich stopped Fr. Mercado from working in the Chicago archdiocese because of "an inappropriate adult relationship."

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CA--Victims group applauds settlement in school sex abuse case

For immediate release: Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Statement by Melanie Jula Sakoda of Moraga, California, East Bay Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests  (melanie.sakoda@gmail.com925-708-6175)

A tentative settlement has been reached in the lawsuit for damages filed by the victims of a Concord elementary school teacher who was convicted of sexual abuse last year.

http://www.eastbaytimes.com/breaking-news/ci_30249609/joseph-martin-molestation-case-mdusd-reaches-tentative-settlement

The Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) has tentatively agreed to pay $1.2 million to the 11 boys who sued the district. The children had sued for damages that occurred when teacher Joseph Martin repeatedly fondled their chests while they were students in his class at Woodside Elementary. The settlement still needs the approval of the school board before it is final.

 

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ME--Group praises victims of ME predator priest

For immediate release: Monday, Aug. 15, 2016

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)

Six men have settled child sex abuse and cover up cases against Maine Catholic officials. We applaud them for being smart enough to unite, brave enough to share their pain, wise enough to consult attorneys and strong enough to endure a long process of justice, prevention and healing. Their success should deter would-be wrongdoers and inspire suffering victims. And we call on Maine church officials to post on church websites the names, whereabouts and work histories of all proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesting clerics in the state.

http://www.necn.com/news/new-england/St-Georges-School-in-Rhode-Island-Agrees-to-Settle-Up-to-30-Sex-Abuse-Claims-389066612.html

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MO--In sudden shift, accused priest wants deposition stopped

For immediate release: Friday, Aug. 12, 2016

For more information: Amy Lorenz-Moser 314 312 4979 (attorney), David Clohessy 314 566 9790davidgclohessy@gmail.com, Barbara Dorris 314 503 0003,SNAPdorris@gmail.com

Twice-accused priest wants his deposition stopped 

Cleric claims “I’m innocent & want to clear my name”

“So why delay and what are you hiding?” SNAP asks

Meanwhile, support group seeks to appeal to another court

In a bizarre civil case, a St. Louis priest who has twice been charged with child sex crimes wants a judge to block his deposition. SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) calls the move “hypocritical” and the group’s attorney is planning to proceed with the deposition.

Fr. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang, has been criminally charged in two eastern Missouri counties with molesting a boy and a girl. Last summer, Fr. Jiang filed a civil lawsuit alleging “a conspiracy” by SNAP, prosecutors, two police officers and the parents of a boy, to deprive the priest of his civil rights because he is Chinese and Catholic.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/federal-lawsuit-filed-by-st-louis-priest-cleared-of-child/article_b13a09e4-e683-56ad-a5b6-0ff5bacbd667.html

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OH - SNAP responds to girl's kidnapping

July 24, 2016

 

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur

9th District

One Maritime Plaza, Room. 600
Toledo, OH 43604

Senator Sherrod Brown

713 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510

 

Representative:  D.  Michael Ashford (District 44)

Representative: Teresa Fedor (District 45)

Representative Robert McColley (District 81)

Representative Michael Sheehy (District 46)

 C/O   Ohio House of Representatives

77 S High St Fl 12,

Columbus, OH 43215

 

Senator Edna Brown (District 11)

Senator Cliff Hite (District 1)

Senator Randy Gardner (District 2)

c/o Ohio Senate

Senate Building
1 Capitol Square
Columbus, OH 43215

Dear Lawmakers:

Our community is overwhelmed with grief as we watch helplessly, a family grieve the senseless and violent murder of a 20 year-old college student, Sierah Joughin who was abducted last week while innocently riding her purple bicycle in broad daylight in a quiet rural area less than a half mile from her home.

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NV--Credibly accused predator priest is now in Las Vegas

For immediate release: Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016

For more information: David Clohessy 314 566 9790314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com, Barbara Dorris 314 503 0003 cell,bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org

Predator priest from Michigan is now in NV

Earlier this year, Catholic officials disclosed allegation

They deemed child sex report involving girl “credible

She now wants Las Vegas/Reno church staff to “warn others

Retired cleric, now married, owns considerable property here

Victims group writes to two bishops: “Protect the vulnerable, heal the wounded

A few months ago, Catholic officials in Michigan admitted that one of their former priests, who now lives in Henderson NV, likely molested a girl years ago. His victim and a support group are now calling on Nevada’s bishops to warn the public about him.

In March, Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron disclosed that his staff had deemed “credible” a child sex abuse report against Fr. Richard R. Lauinger.  They also admit that they’ve kept secret about abuse charges made by two other women for 14 years.

http://www.aod.org/our-archdiocese/newsroom/news-releases/2016/march/regarding-richard-lauinger/

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VA--Just “outed” predator priest worked in VA

For immediate release: Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

A priest accused of abusing in Virginia has been “outed” as an alleged predator in Pennsylvania this week. We call on Richmond Catholic officials and parishioners to aggressively reach out to anyone who may have been hurt by the cleric. 

http://www.ydr.com/story/news/2016/08/09/15-priests-accused-abuse-had-ties-harrisburg-diocese/83179102/

An investigation by the York PA Daily Record found that “(Fr.) John Bostwick III was accused in 1996 of abuse that allegedly took place from 1980-82. . . The Harrisburg diocese said it contacted the Diocese of Richmond (Va.), where Bostwick was in 1996, and he was removed from ministry.”

As best we in SNAP can tell, the allegations against Fr. Bostwick have never been publicly disclosed in Virginia and they were revealed only one other time, in 1996 in Louisiana:

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news3/1996_04_24_Simoneaux_PriestIn_John_Bostwick_1.htm

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LA--New Orleans church must do “outreach,” abuse victims say

For immediate release: Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

A few days ago, a Louisiana minister was been sentenced to 10 years in prison for child sex crimes. We call on his former colleagues and congregants at First Baptist Church of New Orleans to aggressively seek out others who may have information or suspicions about his crimes and beg them to call law enforcement.

http://www.theadvocate.com/new_orleans/news/courts/article_c65e9558-5d84-11e6-ac4e-e334e00e2d9b.html

http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2016/08/ex-first_baptist_youth_ministe_1.html

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MS--Ex-Mississippi pastor sentenced for child sex crimes

For immediate release: Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

A Baptist minister who worked in Mississippi has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after admitting to sexually abusing a 13 year old church member in Louisiana. We call on his former colleagues to aggressively seek out others who may have information or suspicions about his crimes and beg them to call law enforcement.

http://www.theadvocate.com/new_orleans/news/courts/article_c65e9558-5d84-11e6-ac4e-e334e00e2d9b.html

http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2016/08/ex-first_baptist_youth_ministe_1.html

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PA--Victims blast “reckless secrecy” of Harrisburg bishop

For immediate release: Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

Harrisburg Bishop Ronald Gainer and his staff are putting kids in harm’s way by continuing to hide the names and whereabouts of predator priests. Shame on them.

After decades of pledges by Catholic officials to be “open” about clergy sex abuse and cover up cases, they still being secretive. As a result, who knows how many unsuspecting families live near or individuals work with predator priests?

About 30 US dioceses post names of proven, admitted and credibly accused predator priests on their websites. Gainer, however, refuses to take this simple, inexpensive, practical step to protect the vulnerable, heal the wounded and expose the truth. Shame on his employees who are complicit in this reckless secrecy: Joseph Aponick, Msgr. William King and other current and former church staff.

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VA--Church abuse panel walks away from investigation

The process of choosing an appropriate firm was “flawed" they say

Mennonite committee apologizes to victim for excluding her

Survivors applaud this “rare public stand” by church leaders 

Statement by SNAP Leader Barbra Graber, 540-214-8874mennonite@snapnetwork.org, August 8, 2016

Today, a church panel ended their involvement in an investigation into a former Mennonite university vice president accused of sexual abuse, stalking and making violent threats. We applaud their compassionate move. We hope that officials will still take the Panel’s original recommendation of GRACE as the chosen investigating group or go back to the drawing board and this time be genuinely inclusive.

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