OH--Cincy Catholic group challenged in court over child sex abuse
For immediate release: Thursday, Dec. 18
Seven clerics with a Cincinnati-based Catholic group are accused of sexually abusing children in New Mexico, according to new court documents and the Gallup Independent newspaper. (Full article is below.) We call on the head of the group, Fr. Page Polk (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com), to fully disclose their long-secret records about clergy sex crimes and cover ups.
The religious order, called the Franciscans, is located at 1615 Vine St. and 5000 Colerain (513-542-1082, 513-542-7999) in Cincinnati. For four decades, it has sent priests to the small Gallup diocese.
Five of the accused clerics are believed to be publicly named as alleged perpetrators for the first time: Ephrem Beltramea (listed as Ephraim Beltremea), Eugene Botello, Crispin Butz, Finnian Connolly and Clementin (listed as Clemetine) Wottle.
Besides making public their records about predators, we also urge the Franciscans to
---reveal every church facility where these seven accused clerics worked –in every state – and
---aggressively seek out anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by them.
Fr. Mark Soehner handles abuse cases for the Franciscans. He is at 513-721-4700, extension 3214.
We also urge anyone with information or suspicions about Franciscsan clerics who may have committed or concealed child sex crimes to call police and prosecutors right away.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 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.