OH- Alleged sex offender priest challenges law; SNAP responds
For immediate release: Monday, Aug. 18, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, email@example.com)
A Cleveland Catholic priest is challenging an Ohio law that requires HIV positive adults to disclose their condition to sexual partners.
It seems that no group of sex offenders try harder to overturn sex-related laws more than Catholic priests. We've seen accused Catholic clerics challenge indecent exposure, sex offender registry, statutes of limitations and other similar laws. (Next month, for instance, Catholic officials in Hartford Connecticut are seeking to overturn a good statute of limitations law there and replace it with a more predator-friendly one.)
In dozens of cases, we've urged Catholic bishops to disclose whether or not they're paying for lawyers for alleged sex offender priests. Almost always, bishops ignore our requests, even though they have pledged, for at least a dozen years, to be “open” about clergy sex cases.
According to the Plain Dealer, “Fr. James McGonegal is charged with soliciting sex from an undercover ranger at Edgewater Park last October.” We hope Catholic officials are keeping him in treatment, and hope they'll send him to a credible, independent center for men with sexual difficulties, run by experienced professionals, instead of a discredited church facility run by Catholic clerics.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
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.