Media Statements

MA--Accused Boston area predator priest won’t be charged; Victims respond

For immediate release: Tuesday, Jan. 19

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

Just because a prosecutor isn’t filing charges now against an accused predator priest does not mean that the cleric is innocent.

http://www.itemlive.com/news/da-not-prosecuting-lynn-priest/

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MI--Detroit bishop brings controversy to Michigan

For immediate release: Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016

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

A Detroit priest who rose to become an archbishop but resigned amid controversy is back in Michigan and generating more controversy. He’s accused of sexual impropriety with several Detroit area seminarians, retaliating against one who rebuffed his advances, concealing clergy sex crimes, and interfering with an investigation into his alleged sexual misdeeds.

For seven years, Archbishop John Nienstedt headed the Catholic church in St. Paul Minnesota. But he stepped down last year ten days after prosecutors filed criminal charges against Nienstedt’s archdiocese, becoming “the nation's first (to be) charged with failure to protect children,” according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

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NH--Victims prod AG to go after predator priest

For immediate release: Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016

For more information: David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, davidgclohessy@gmail.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), David Ouellette, NH SNAP Leader (603-833-0391, SNAPNH@SNAPnetwork.org)

Victims urge prosecutors to pursue predator priest

He admitted abuse and pledged to stay away from kids

But he’s worked for years at two more NH churches

SNAP to AG: “Investigate whether he violated plea deal”

Group also prods Hillsborough County Attorney to act

A victims’ support group is urging New Hampshire prosecutors to investigate whether an admitted predator priest broke a legal agreement that he stay away from children.

Fr. Mark Fleming, who now lives in Manchester, “admitted molesting three boys” and “signed an agreement that forbade him from ‘participating in any future religious, educational, or organized social programs which involve children,’” according to legal documents and news accounts.

“The Hillsborough County Attorney’s office agreed not to seek indictments if Fleming stuck to the deal,” the Concord Monitor reported yesterday.

But until recently, Fr. Fleming worked at South Parish Unitarian in Charlestown, NH (603 826 3418) and before that at the First Universalist Church of West Chesterfield(603-256-6193betseybrackett@hotmail.comShanjmac@gmail.com).

http://www.concordmonitor.com/photos/20537659-95/former-priest-barred-from-contact-with-anyone-under-16-turns-up-at-other-nh

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MI--Controversial archbishop denies all wrongdoing; Victims respond

For immediate release: Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP outreach director (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)

“I’m being picked on because of the evil news media’s and gay marriage supporters.” That’s what the just-moved ex-head of the Twin Cities Catholic archdiocese told his new Michigan flock last Sunday.

http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com/story/news/local/2016/01/17/archbishop-reports-past-job-misleading/78858416/

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PA--Philly Catholic officials still want secrecy in child sex case

For immediate release: Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016

Statement by Karen Polesir of Ambler, SNAP Philly director (267-992-9463karenpolesir@yahoo.com)

Philly Catholic officials have just lost their bid to keep secret facts about a clergy sex abuse and cover up case. Shame on them for trying to hide the truth and violate, again, their often-repeated but often-broken pledges to be “open” about pedophile priests.

http://www.thelegalintelligencer.com/id=1202747309476/Archdioceses-Confidentiality-Request-in-Sex-Abuse-Case-Denied?mcode=0&curindex=0&curpage=ALL

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WA--Victims are skeptical of Archdiocesan predator priest list

For immediate release: Friday, Jan. 15, 2015

Statement by Mary Dispenza of Seattle, Seattle SNAP director (425 941 6001mdispenza@icloud.com)

Every time a predator’s name is publicized, kids are safer. But we suspect this is an incomplete list that was prompted by external pressure. Seattle Catholic officials should have disclosed and posted these clerics’ names long ago. Now, they should put them in each parish bulletin, several times a year, and permanently on each parish website.

About 30 US bishops have taken this step, almost always belatedly, grudgingly, incompletely and only because parishioners, prosecutors or lawmakers prod them to do so.

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

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NJ--Newark archbishop hides abuse accusation for months; SNAP responds

For immediate release: Friday, Jan. 15, 2016

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

Again, Newark Catholic officials, including Archbishop John Myers, are knowingly putting kids in harm’s way by keeping credible accusations of child sex crimes from parishioners and the public.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/01/sex_abuse_claims_from_1980s_lead_to_priests_suspen.html#incart_river_home

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NE--Victims blast Nebraska Catholic officials for deceit

For immediate release: Friday, Jan. 15, 2016

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP outreach director (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)

Nebraska Catholic officials are deceiving their flock about Bishop Robert Finn, the only prelate in the US to be criminally convicted for refusing to report child sex crimes to police. (Finn now works in Nebraska.)

http://journalstar.com/news/local/disgraced-k-c-bishop-starts-anew-in-lincoln-convent/article_1e73ef3e-f2fe-5e41-b3e0-2d90c9f1552f.html

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NE--Disgraced KC bishop now works in Nebraska; Victims object

For immediate release: Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016

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

A disgraced Missouri Catholic bishop has quietly moved to Nebraska where he works as a chaplain for nuns. This is an outrage. It shows how little has changed in the church hierarchy: clerics who commit or conceal child sex crimes are still being coddled, moved elsewhere and getting second chances instead of being fired.

Last year, Bishop Robert Finn resigned as head of the Kansas City diocese. He was convicted of refusing to report child sex crimes to police. But he now works at the School Sisters of Christ the King in the Lincoln, Nebraska with the approval of Lincoln Bishop James Conley.

http://ncronline.org/news/accountability/archbishop-john-nienstedt-bishop-robert-finn-have-new-homes-outside-respective

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IL--SNAP: Fire one Bethalto minister & suspend his boss over sex case

For immediate release: Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016

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

Lutheran officials should fire a Bethalto minister accused of helping an accused sex offender and suspend his boss, the pastor. They should also aggressively denounce the minister’s actions and do everything possible to help police investigate the wrongdoers.

http://www.bnd.com/news/local/article53719630.html  

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Rome--Victims urge Pope to block move of accused MN archbishop

For immediate release: Wednesday, Jan. 13

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

An archbishop accused of committing sexual misconduct and concealing child sex crimes will start working in a Michigan parish. We call on Pope Francis to reverse this stunningly reckless and callous move. And we call on all of Michigan’s bishops to denounce it.    

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AK--Anchorage archbishop had “terrible” record on abuse, group says

For immediate release: Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those abused by Priests (314 566 9790davidgclohessy@gmail.com
Before praising Alaska Archbishop Francis Hurley too much, Catholics and citizens should recall that he repeatedly put children in harm’s way, by quietly bringing a Michigan predator priest and a New Mexico predator bishop to work in Alaska while warning no one about their crimes.
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