NY--Prison chaplain removed for abuse allegations
For immediate release Thursday January 21, 2016
Our hearts go out to anyone who was molested by a cleric. If kids are to be safer, we as a society must welcome and support abuse reports no matter when they are made.
In our experience, often sexually troubled clerics are assigned to “special ministries” like prisons, nursing homes, and hospitals. We strongly suspect this isn’t the first allegation against this priest. We hope we’re wrong but bet we are not.
We urge Cardinal Tim Dolan to
-- aggressively reach out to anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by this priest,
-- turn over to law enforcement any files they may have about him,
-- disclose how much time elapsed between the abuse report and this suspension,
-- immediately disclose every location where the priest worked, and
-- personally visit places the cleric worked or lived near, prodding victims and witnesses to come forward, get help, call police, protect others and start healing,
It takes courage for a church official to use his "bully pulpit" and vast resources to seek out others who may have have seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes, misdeeds or cover ups. But it's what must happen if churches are to be safer.
It’s crucial that people speak up with any information or suspicions about clergy sex crimes, misdeeds or cover ups. That’s how innocent kids and vulnerable adults will be protected. That’s how the truth will be revealed. And that’s how wrongdoing will be deterred.
But it’s important to call independent secular professionals, not self-serving, biased church officials.
Contact: Barbara Dorris, National Outreach Director, 314 503 0003