NJ: Church sex abuse & cover up case is filed
- Church sex abuse & cover up case is filed
- This is the fourth time priest has been sued
- Man charges that cleric abused him in Catholic school
- SNAP is urging Camden’s bishop to ‘reach out’ to other victims
At a sidewalk news conference, SNAP members and supporters will
--disclose a new lawsuit being filed against a Camden Diocese predator priest, and
--urge others who may have suspected or suffered his crimes to come forward to police.
They will also urge Camden’s Catholic bishop to
-- personally visit parishes where the predator worked begging victims to speak up, and
-- post on his website the names, photos and whereabouts of proven, admitted and credibly accused pedophile priests who are living/have lived or are working/have worked in his diocese.
Today, Friday January 27 at 1:00 PM
Outside the Camden Catholic diocesan headquarters (“chancery office”) 631 Market St. (corner of Country Rd. 551) in Camden NJ
Two-four clergy sex abuse victims who belong to a confidential support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)
A new civil child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit was filed late yesterday against Fr. Joseph E. Shannon, a serial predator priest who was ordained by and worked in the Camden Diocese since 1961. In the case, the victim reports that Fr. Shannon would watch him after school hours at St. Anthony of Padua while he was waiting for his mother to pick him up. Shannon allegedly sexually abused the boy several times, telling him that “God would be angry” if he told anyone. The crimes ended only when the boy was transferred to another school.
Fr. Shannon has faced similar allegations before. In 1991, he was sued for abusing a then-12-year-old boy. Three years later, in a then-unprecedented RICO suit, Shannon was accused by two brothers who said that Fr. He took them on vacations and plied them with alcohol before sexually violating them. Both cases were settled out of court.
SNAP is begging anyone else who may have information or suspicions about Fr. Shannon’s crimes to come forward call police about what they saw or heard (no matter how small, old or seemingly insignificant the information might seem). SNAP is also urging Camden Bishop Joseph Galante to personally visit every parish where Fr. Shannon worked at and plead for victims or witnesses to speak up
The victim in the case, Mark Bryson, was born in 1961 and now lives in the Midwest. He will NOT be at the event today. According to the suit, he repressed recall of the abuse until 2010, when he saw an adult male on the street which triggered his memory.
Fr. Shannon has worked in the Camden Diocese since his ordination, including at St. Pete’s in Jonesville.
The suit, which seeks unspecified damages, is filed in the US District court for New Jersey. It charges Catholic officials with negligence and fraud. The diocese is the sole defendant.
The victim is represented by Miami attorney Jessica Arbour 305 931 2200 work, 305 318 5444 cell, JArbour@Hermanlaw.com
According to BishopAccountability.org, roughly 30 US bishops have posted names of predator priests on their websites. SNAP feels this is the bare minimum Catholic officials can do to protect kids. The group wants Gallante to take this simple step toward warning parents, parishioners and the public about potentially dangerous clerics.
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.