NY - Ex-Buffalo cleric accused of abuse
A former Buffalo area Catholic priest's name appears on a list of priests ‘guilty of sexual misconduct,’ according to yesterday's Philadelphia Inquirer. The Rev. Ted Podson taught at the Buffalo-area Devon Prep school before leaving the school when he accused of sexually assaulting a child. He was named on a list that was compiled in 1994 by recently-convicted Msgr. William Lynn.
A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is urging Buffalo Catholic officials - including Bishop Richard Malone - to reach out to anyone in the area who may have seen, suspected or suffered the cleric's crimes.
"It is more likely than not that there are other victims in the Buffalo area," said David Clohessy of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “We just want to find them and help them heal.”
Msgr. Lynn’s list was recently made public during his trial, but had been hidden since the list was made and shown to then Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua in Philadelphia. Of the five men on the list, four have since been publicly accused, prosecuted, or sued, and three were never named until Lynn’s trial. Those three men are Rev. Podson, Rev. Stanley Jankowski and Rev. DePaul Sobotka (both members of the Franciscan order and currently living in Wisconsin).
Podson , who was a teacher in public schools before joining Devon Prep, was alleged to have assaulted a seventh or eighth grade boy, whose parents complained to the school and the archdiocese. According to the school, efforts were made to find other victims, but none came forward.
“It is much harder for a 13 or 14 year old boy to raise his hand and say ‘I was abused too,’ than it is for that same boy to speak out when he becomes an adult,” said Clohessy. “Efforts may have been undertaken in the early 90’s, but all we know for sure is that these efforts must be remade today.”
Today, Podson resides in the Phillipines. As far as SNAP can tell, no effort has been made to inform the people where he is of the allegations against him.
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.