Media Statements

IA--Victims challenge SC bishop on abuse

For immediate release, Thursday, December 10, 2015

Statement by SNAP leader Tim Lennon who was abused in Sioux City (415-312-5820tlennon@snapnetwork.org)

Many of us are confused by and skeptical of Sioux City's bishop's claim that he's starting a new program to teach kids about avoiding child molesters. We suspect it's just a public relations move. We hope we’re wrong.

The "new program" is touted in the Catholic diocesan newspaper under the headline “Diocese of Sioux City Promulgates Safe Environment Program in Catholic Schools.”

http://www.catholicglobe.org/?p=5109

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MA--Victims applaud new SJC ruling about child sex law

 For immediate release: Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015

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

The highest court in Massachusetts today made it easier for sex abuse victims to expose child molesters which will help prevent future sexual violence against the vulnerable. We applaud the court and the brave survivor who brought this case. The unanimous ruling is part of a larger, longer trend toward repealing or reforming archaic, predator-friendly statutes of limitations that keep being exploited by those who commit and conceal child sex crimes as a way to protect their secrets and evade consequences for their horrific acts.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/12/09/sjc-upholds-expanded-statute-limitations-civil-sex-abuse-cases/di7kWNcivZSh7q5Siy2YsJ/story.html

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MI--Archbishop should help prosecutors with school abuse case

For immediate release: Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015

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

A criminal prosecution of a Catholic youth minister and school employee is proceeding and Detroit’s archbishop should aggressively seek out others with information or suspicions about the alleged predator.

Joseph Sturza, a former director of admissions at Austin Catholic High School in Ray Township, and a former youth minister at St. Isidore Catholic Church in Macomb Township, is charged with four felony counts of sex offenses against a child.

http://www.candgnews.com/news/child-sex-abuse-case-heading-back-court-88677

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MO--Unprecedented abuse/deceit suit filed vs. Catholic group

For immediate release: Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015

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

In a first-ever lawsuit, an abuse victim is suing a St. Louis-based Catholic religious order for deceiving and misleading him as he reported child sexual abuse and sought to warn others about crimes and cover ups at a prominent West County school.

Almost always, child sex abuse victims sue for the abuse and cover up. Rarely, if ever, do they sue for how they’re treated by church officials once they report the abuse. That’s what Chris Wimmer is doing and we commend him for his courage. He suit points out that Catholic officials were deceitful in the past and still are today.

Wimmer was molested by Brother Louis Meinhardt and Brother John Woulfe, both Marianists, at Chaminade. He’s suing Marianist officials, however, not for the abuse but for how they’ve “misled” him in recent years since he reported the abuse.  

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PA--Another college rescinds Bill Cosby honor, victims applaud move

For immediate release: Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015

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

We applaud Swathmore College officials for rescinding Bill Cosby’s honorary degree and Drexel University officials for doing so weeks ago. It’s time the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Missouri and every other institution to do the same.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2015/12/another_college_is_taking_bill_cosbys_honorary_deg.html

http://www.phillymag.com/news/2015/11/10/penn-revoke-bill-cosby-honorary-degree/

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Philippines & CA--Ex L.A. priest molested Philippine presidential candidate

For immediate release: Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015

Statement by Joelle Casteix of California, SNAP Southern California director (949-322-7434jcasteix@gmail.com)

A priest who abused in Los Angeles is now accused of molesting a Philippine presidential candidate.

http://manila.coconuts.co/2015/12/08/confirmed-priest-who-sexually-abused-duterte-also-had-same-cases-us

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MI-- Archbishop must reach out to other victims, group says

For immediate release: Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015

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

Detroit Catholic officials must do aggressive outreach – to 20 parishes and across the entire archdiocese – to seek out and help others who were hurt by a just-accused predator priest.

http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2015/12/08/child-sex-abuse-allegation-against-late-priest-deemed-credible/

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MN--Predator priest loses at US Supreme Court

For immediate release: Monday, Dec. 7, 2015

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

The US Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by a Minnesota predator priest. Now, Twin Cities Archbishop Bernard Hebda has no reason to sit back and do nothing. If he cares about healing the wounded and protecting the vulnerable, Hebda will work hard to find and help others who have been hurt by Fr. Christopher Wenthe.

Fr. Wenthe “was convicted in 2011 of third-degree criminal sexual conduct for having sex with (a) woman at a meeting in which she sought counseling in 2003. State law makes it a felony for clergy members to have sex with people they are spiritually advising,” according to the AP.

http://kstp.com/article/stories/s3984285.shtml

http://www.twincities.com/crime/ci_28373255/st-paul-priests-sex-misconduct-conviction-reinstated

http://www.mncourts.gov/opinions/sc/current/OPA120263-062415.pdf

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MN--Victims blast Duluth Catholic bankruptcy

For immediate release: Monday, Dec. 7, 2015

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

Duluth’s Catholic bishop is making an immoral, selfish, and hurtful move by seeking bankruptcy protection. More kids are apt to be molested because of Bishop Paul Sirba’s irresponsible decision to put his comfort and his colleagues ahead of his flock and their families.

http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/news/3898226-diocese-duluth-files-bankruptcy

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Bahamas--Secret records about 3 ex-Bahamas abusive cleric are released

For immediate release: Friday, Dec. 4, 2015

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

Hundreds of pages of long-secret records about three child molesting Catholic priest who spent years in the Bahamas have been released. Church officials should tell parents, parishioners and the public about them.

Fr. Richard Eckroth, Fr. Thomas Gillespie and Fr. Finian McDonald worked at Saint Augustine’s in Nassau the Bahamas. They’re all “credibly accused” of abuse, according to their church supervisors, and have been or are being sued for abuse.

McDonald admitted abusing 200 children and traveled frequently to Bahamas until 2002.

http://www.startribune.com/accused-monk-at-st-john-s-abbey-reports-more-than-200-sexual-encounters/353241311/

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MN--$5 million spent on archdiocesan bankruptcy

For immediate release: Friday, Dec. 4, 2015

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 deeply saddened – but not surprised - by the news that $5 million has been spent on the St. Paul archdiocesan bankruptcy. It’s tragic how much bishops will spend to keep their abuse cover ups covered up. 

http://www.mprnews.org/story/2015/12/03/archdiocese-bankruptcy  

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NH--He’s left the Catholic church but is now Unitarian minister

For immediate release: Friday, Dec. 4, 2915

Ousted predator priest is cleric in another denomination

Victims want church officials to warn the public about him

He’s left the Catholic church but is now Unitarian minister

A New Hampshire priest who was ousted because of credible allegations of child sex abuse has apparently been a minister for years at a rural New Hampshire Unitarian church.

Fr. Mark Fleming now heads South Parish Unitarian in Charlestown, NH (603 826 3418)

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