For immediate release: Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013
Records released on predator priest
He worked in Nebraska but abused in California
Support group urges Omaha Catholic officials to “do outreach”
SNAP: “Some of victims may still be suffering in silence, shame and self-blame”
A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is urging Omaha’s Catholic archbishop to reach out to anyone who may have been hurt by an abusive priest who is now in the limelight because his records have just been made public.
Father Gabriel Salinas is one of five clerics who were sued in California for alleged child sex crimes. Those suits settled in 2007. But 11 pages of long-secret records about Salinas, who is now deceased, were released yesterday and posted on line as part of a settlement of hundreds of civil abuse lawsuits.
Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are asking Archbishop George Lucas to “let Nebraska Catholics know about” the credible child sex abuse allegations against Salinas.
“This predator spent more than 30 years in Nebraska, so it’s silly to think that he assaulted kids in California but never in Omaha,” said SNAP Director David Clohessy. “Archbishop Lucas can be irresponsible and do nothing. Or he can show courage and compassion by using his archdiocesan website and parish bulletins to reach out to others who were wounded by this child molesting cleric.”
According to the LA News: “Father Salinas was born in 1892 in Spain, and became a priest in 1909. During most of his 55 years in the priesthood, he was American superior of the Augustinian Recollect Fathers.”
“In 1925, while assigned to a church in Omaha, Neb., he was driving a car that struck and killed an 11-year-old boy, according to newspaper stories included in his file. He was cleared of any wrongdoing and even officiated at the funeral Mass of his young victim.”
“In 1957, he was transferred from Omaha to be pastor of Cristo Rey Catholic Church in Atwater, where he was credited with building an auditorium-youth center and renovating the church and rectory. It was also at Cristo Rey where he was accused of molestation from 1958-60, according to a report by the Los Angeles Archdiocese.”
“The personnel file released Monday indicates he was removed from Cristo Rey in 1960, and assigned for three years to a provincial office.”
“Salinas died Nov. 18, 1972, nearly two weeks after he was hit by a car while crossing a Los Angeles street.”
For more information: David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP Director (314) 566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com