Media Statements

Canada--Lawsuit says Mennonite Church failed to prevent abuse

For immediate release Friday, March 11

Statement by Barbra Graber, Leader, Anabaptist-Mennonite Chapter of SNAP, 540-214-8874mennonite@SNAPnetwork.org

We are grateful this brave woman has filed a lawsuit alleging the Mennonite church “fostered a climate that aided in the abuse of children.” Brian Douglas Porinsky, a former pastor with the Mennonite Brethren Church of Manitoba pleaded guilty to sexual assault and is serving time in prison.   

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PA--Representative calls for grand jury investigations of all PA dioceses

For immediate release: Thursday, March 10

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, 314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

Representative Mark Rozzi is right. Every PA diocese should be investigated. Virtually every grand jury has uncovered the same awful continuing pattern of deception and recklessness. If prosecutors use their bully pulpits, and beg victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to come forward we are confident that some recent cases will emerge.   

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OH--Victims blast Cincy archbishop over priest theft case

For immediate release: Thursday, March 10

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)

Just as they usually do in child sex abuse and cover up cases, Catholic officials are responding callously and selfishly in a criminal case against a priest, Fr. Earl Simone, who accused of stealing $1.5 million from St. Peter’s parish in Huber Heights.

http://wdtn.com/2016/03/09/court-date-set-for-former-st-peter-priest/   

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PA--Priest verbally attacks jurors; Victims want him punished

For immediate release: Thursday, March 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 once high-ranking Altoona priest is publicly blasting jurors and law enforcement personnel. His boss, Altoona’s bishop, should demote or at least discipline him. And the bishop should order all church employees to resist the temptation to blame others for wrongdoing by church staff.

Msgr. Michael Servinsky told a newspaper that “the grand jury did quite a hatchet job on Bishop Joseph (Adamec) – they did him in.”

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/mar/08/catholic-priest-child-sex-abuse-ebensburg-pennsylvania

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WV--“Monster” predator priest quietly sent to WV

For immediate release: Thursday, March 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)

A serial Pennsylvania predator priest – who was described by law enforcement officials as a “monster” who may have “molested hundreds” – was quietly sent to work in West Virginia, according to a just-released grand jury report.

We want West Virginia’s Catholic bishop to alert his flock about this pedophile, Fr. Francis McCaa. (Links below)

We strongly suspect he also hurt kids in West Virginia.

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TX, IA, NM, AZ, and MO--Victims beg: “No complacency about Feit”

For immediate release: Wednesday, March 9, 2016

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

We’re grateful that accused murderer and ex-priest John Feit is back in Texas but worry that many are feeling complacent instead of acting vigilantly in this case. Though prosecutors say they have new evidence, no one should rest easy or stay silent. Every single person who has any knowledge of or suspicions about Feit must come forward now if he is to be successfully kept locked up.

We’re also sad that Brownsville Bishop Daniel Flores is trying to distance himself from this horrific crime while apparently doing nothing to help solve it.

We hope that Catholic bishops in five states (TX, IA, NM, AZ, and MO) will show leadership and do outreach to any others who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by Feit. We especially hope Feit’s former church colleagues and supervisors will call law enforcement and that officials at the Phoenix Catholic charity where he worked will aggressively seek out anyone among their staff and clients who may have been hurt by Feit.

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MS--Catholic bishop passes away; Victims respond

For immediate release: Wednesday, March 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)

Mississippi Bishop William Houck died today. He headed the Jackson diocese until 2003. We hope his passing brings some comfort and closure to those who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups during his years in office.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/mar/9/former-catholic-bishop-of-jackson-william-houck-di/

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WA--Yakima predator priests may be listed this month

For immediate release - Monday, March 7, 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 weeks ago, Yakima Catholic officials said they MIGHT post names of predator priests on a church website this month. (Last week, a Pennsylvania bishop pledged to do this too.)

This move is long overdue. It’s the quickest, easiest way to warn parents, police, prosecutors, parishioners and the public about predator priests. It’s the very least bishops should do, since they recruited, educated, ordained, hired, trained, transferred and shielded these predators for years, often helping them evade prosecution by keeping their crimes secret until the statute of limitations expired.

Over the past dozen years or so, more than 30 US bishops have released such lists. http://www.bishop-accountability.org/AtAGlance/lists.htm

In January, the Seattle Catholic archdiocese released a list of 77 child molesting clerics who worked there.

That same month, the Yakima Republic reported that Yakima church officials may do the same thing in March.

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2016/01_02/2016_01_24_Jane_Herald_Names_go.htm

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PA--Cambria County senior officials ignored reports of clergy sex crimes

For immediate release: Tuesday, March 8

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, 314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

Cambria County senior officials ignored reports of clergy sex crimes for over a dozen years allowing children to be needlessly placed at risk and we fear dozens upon dozens to be sexually assaulted. Attorney Richard Serbin first wrote county officials in 2002 about young men in six parishes who had been molested.   

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MO--Victims back filibuster of “religious freedom” law

For immediate release: Tuesday, March 8, 2016

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

The dispute over these so-called "religious objection" laws – here and elsewhere – involves more than adults with differing beliefs. It also involves innocent young kids and wounded adult victims who suffer when claims of “religious freedom” are used to protect clerics who commit and conceal heinous child sex crimes. 

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2016/03/08/us/ap-us-xgr-religious-objections.html

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NJ--New bishop should put cleric in treatment center

For immediate release: Tuesday, March 8, 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 new bishop has been picked to head the Metuchen diocese (where there are at least 13 publicly accused predator priests). We are not optimistic about his handling of child sex abuse and cover up cases.

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/AtAGlance/lists.htm

Msgr. James Checchio has been in Rome for at least a decade. Sadly, the mindset of most Catholic officials in Rome, when it comes to the safety of children, is distressing.

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TX--Ted Cruz gives role to “victim hater” - Victims respond

For immediate release: Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Ted Cruz gives role to “victim hater

He appointed clergyman to advisory board

That minister called a support group “evil-doers

“They’re just as reprehensible as sex criminals,” TX preacher said

He heads Ft. Worth seminary and has been a national Baptist official

A presidential hopeful has named a prominent Baptist minister to an advisory board even though the clergyman once called a support group for clergy sex abuse victims “evil-doers.”

https://baptistnews.com/2016/03/02/paige-patterson-named-to-cruz-advisory-council/

Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has tapped Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, to the candidate’s Religious Liberty Advisory Council, despite Patterson’s calling the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) “just as reprehensible as sex criminals.”

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