MI--Victims urge blast Grand Rapids bishop over predator
For immediate release: Friday, Aug. 14
Statement by SNAP leader Bill McAlary (616-514-0654, firstname.lastname@example.org), who was abused as a child by Fr. Stanislaus A. Bur, who worked in parishes in Grand Rapids, Beal City, Hastings, Traverse City, Muskegon, Ionia, Maple City, Beal City, Kinde, Pinnebog and Beaver).
Grand Rapids Catholic officials apparently kept silent about child sex abuse reports against a priest. They apparently kept silent when while supposedly “investigating” those reports. They apparently kept silent when they deemed those reports credible. They apparently kept silent when they quietly sent the case to the Vatican. And only now, likely years later, are Grand Rapids Catholic officials finally disclosing that he’s a child molester, while providing virtually no helpful information that might protect other vulnerable kids Shame on them.
Fr. Charles Antekeier is a priest. But now he can’t act like one in public. This is a belated, tiny step forward. Much remains to be done.
Despite a national church abuse policy that supposedly mandates “openness and transparency,” Bishop David J. Walkowiak refuses to
--say where Fr. Antekeier is now,
--say when the abuse report was made,
--say whether Fr. Antekeier is being supervised,
-- say whether he molested boys or girls,
--say whether Fr. Antekeier admitted the crimes, or
--say whether they’ve given police and prosecutors.
This is reckless, callous and deceptive. Parents, parishioners, police, prosecutors and the public deserve more information so they can protect other innocent kids.
We beg every single person who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups in Grand Rapids – by Fr. Antekeier or other clerics – to call police right away. All adults must protect kids, expose predators and stop cover ups, even if it may seek hard or risky.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has 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)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, email@example.com, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Statement regarding Father Charles Antekeier
August 14, 2015
The Diocese of Grand Rapids has received notice from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that Father Charles Antekeier, a retired priest of the Diocese of Grand Rapids, has been permanently removed from ministry in accord with the provisions of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and the Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons. Father Antekeier, age 79, is further obligated to lead a life of prayer and penance, and cannot publicly present himself as a priest.
The Diocese was approached by a victim regarding incidents that occurred in 1984-1985 while Father Antekeier was serving as pastor of Saint James Parish in Grand Rapids. The Diocesan Review Board examined the case and made its recommendations to Most Reverend David J. Walkowiak, bishop of the Diocese of Grand Rapids, who then forwarded it to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith where the decision was confirmed.
“I want to express my deepest apologies to any children, young people and their families who have been abused by members of the clergy in the Diocese of Grand Rapids,” said Bishop Walkowiak. “While there are no words that can heal such wounds, I humbly ask for forgiveness for the pain and injury you and your families have suffered.”
The Charter provides that “for even a single instance of sexual abuse of a minor – whenever it occurred – which is admitted or established… the offending priest is to be permanently removed from the ministry (Article 5).” In addition, dioceses are to be open and transparent in communicating with the public. The Diocese of Grand Rapids has also reported the information to the appropriate civil authorities.
The diocese encourages anyone who has been sexually abused as a minor by a priest, deacon or church employee, or who has knowledge of any such offense against a minor, to contact the appropriate civil authority or the Diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator at 616-243-0491.
Father Charles Antekeier Biographical Information:
1962: St. Charles, Cheboygan
1966: St. Patrick, Grand Haven
1966: St. Mary, Grand Rapids
1972: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Belmont
1977: St. James, Grand Rapids
1987: St. Francis Xavier, Grand Rapids
2000: Senior priest status (Retired)
Carl Apple, diocesan director of communications
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.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
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.