National-- Victims demand perp priest lists
For immediate release: Friday, Feb. 26
For more info: David Clohessy 314 645 5915 home, 314 566 9790 cell, email@example.com, Barbara Dorris 314 503 0003, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org, Barbara Blaine 312 399 4747, bblaine@SNAPnetwork.org
Victims demand perp priest lists
Last year, 6 Catholic institutions in Minnesota did this
Last month, Seattle archbishop released 77 predators’ names
Another may do so next month; 30 bishops have taken this step
SNAP: “But at least 2,800 accused priests’ names remain hidden”
Group says some still are still near kids now as teachers, therapists, etc.
“Spotlight is still needed until church officials ‘come clean,’” victims feel
In fliers handed out this weekend to parishioners and in letters to the heads of the 20 largest US Catholic dioceses, clergy sex abuse victims will urge bishops to disclose the names of 2,800 accused predator priests whose identities they say are still hidden. They will also commend 30 prelates who have posted pedophile priests on their websites, urge employers and neighbors to “google search” ex-priests they know, and push for statute of limitations reform so more predators are exposed.
“We’re grateful for the attention being paid to the film ‘Spotlight,’ said SNAP outreach director Barbara Dorris. “But even now, US bishops are hiding the names of 43% of the accused predator priests. So clearly more ‘spotlights’ need to be shown on those who commit and conceal these heinous crimes so that kids can be protected.”
The events will take place this Saturday and Sunday on sidewalks outside churches in at least these cities: New York City, Dallas, Houston, Miami, San Jose, Oakland, LA/Orange County, Washington DC and St. Louis.
Last month, the Seattle Catholic archdiocese released a list of 77 child molesting clerics who worked there.
Over the last year or two, seven Minnesota-based church institutions did likewise (St. John’s Abbey, the Crosier Fathers, the St. Paul/Minneapolis Archdiocese and the dioceses of Crookston, Duluth, St. Cloud and Winona).
Next month, Yakima’ bishop may do the same.
Over the past dozen years or so, more than 30 US bishops (out of nearly 200) have released such lists. http://www.bishop-accountability.org/AtAGlance/lists.htm
US bishops admit some 6,400 priests are accused of abuse. But an independent archive group, BishopAccountability.org, identifies nearly 4,000 alleged predator priests but says that 2,800 US priests who are accused of molesting kids have not been publicly identified.
“For the safety of kids and the health of the church, we want bishops to reveal and post on their websites the names of 2,800 accused predator priests whose identities remain hidden,” said David Clohessy of St. Louis, director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790). “Hundreds or thousands of proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting priests, nuns, bishops, seminarians and other church workers now live - and sometime work - among completely unaware, trusting and vulnerable neighbors and colleagues. That’s a reckless recipe for repeated crimes that crush children’s lives.”
“All bishops should post all names of proven, admitted and credibly accused clerics,” said SNAP founder Barbara Blaine of Chicago. “This is the quickest, cheapest, easiest, safest way to warn parents, police, prosecutors, parishioners & the public about predators. It’s also the very least bishops should do, since they recruited, educated, ordained, hired, trained, transferred & shielded these predators, often helping them evade prosecution by keeping secrets until legal deadlines expired.”
After being suspended from parishes because of abuse reports, bishops let many predator priests get other jobs, inside or outside the church, where they have access to kids, SNAP says.
“Over the years, dozens of ousted pedophile priests have turned up as coaches, teachers, and social workers – jobs they have no business holding,” said Clohessy. “In Illinois, Ohio, and South Dakota, at least three such clerics have been found living next to day care centers.”
“Right now, there’s a Twin Cities therapist – Fr. Michael Charland - who’s a credibly accused child molesting Catholic cleric,” said Joelle Casteix of SNAP. “And a former Orange County Catholic school teacher – Thomas Hodgman - who admitted sexually abusing two girls, and got one of them pregnant and gave her a sexually transmitted disease, now teaches at Adrian College in Michigan.”
The fliers SNAP will hand to parishioners urge church members to go watch the film “Spotlight,” learn the names of predator priests in their diocese (at BishopAccountability.org) and beg anyone who “saw, suspected or suffered abuse” to “protect kids, expose wrongdoers and prevent cover ups” by calling police.
“We’ll also beg all current and former Catholic employees to aggressively seek out others who may have been hurt by abusive priests, nuns, bishops, seminarians, brothers or other church personnel,” said Clohessy. “We’re convinced that thousands who were assaulted, as innocent kids or vulnerable adults, suffer today in silence, shame and self-blame. They need and deserve comfort and healing.”
“It’s crucial that any information or suspicions about clergy sex crimes or cover ups – no matter how small, old or seemingly insignificant - get reported to the experienced, unbiased professionals in law enforcement, not to the secretive and often self-serving bureaucrats in church offices,” stressed Dorris.
A detailed list of the SNAP events, including times, locations and contact information on participants, will be posted on the SNAP website later today. (SNAPnetwork.org)
The largest dioceses that have **NOT** posted predators’ names are New York, Brooklyn, Rockville Centre, Newark, Orange in California, Houston, San Bernardino, Dallas, Brownsville, Miami, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Trenton, Buffalo, Hartford, Providence, San Antonio, El Paso, San Jose, Fresno, Washington DC, and Metuchen NJ.
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.
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.