PA- Philly priest trial starts; SNAP responds
Though the child sex abuse trial involving a Catholic priest and Catholic teacher starts this week, it’s never too late for other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to step forward and help make sure these criminals are convicted and kept away from kids.
We strongly suspect that there are current and former Catholic employees who know about or suspect child sex crimes by Fr. Charles Engelhardt and Bernard Shero. Though pedophiles are very secretive, often others who live or work with or near them have some evidence that can help prosecutors.
So we urge anyone with knowledge of these men and their wrongdoing to speak up now. It’s irresponsible to stay silent and risk that one or both of these defendants may get off on a technicality.
This trial is significant because few Catholic abuse and cover up cases ever go to trial. So much incriminating evidence remains concealed. And Catholic officials can then deny their complicity, no matter what happens to the actual molesters.
Through trials, the truth is revealed. At almost every trial like this one, involving Catholic predators and supervisors, witnesses and documents and evidence clearly show that top church staff acted with recklessness, callousness and deceit. The true extent of the corruption in the Catholic hierarchy is often laid bare. That, in turn, educates Catholics and citizens, and better enables them to protect their children in the future. And when wrongdoing is exposed, wrongdoing is deterred. So trials like this one can help dissuade officials in other institutions who may be tempted to try to sweep child sex abuse reports under the rug.
We commend Philadelphia law enforcement for bringing this important case. And we especially commend and thank this brave victim for having the strength and courage to protect others, expose corruption and heal himself by seeking justice in court.
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, firstname.lastname@example.org), Judy Jones 636-433-2511, email@example.com) Karen Polesir (267-992-9463, firstname.lastname@example.org)
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SNAP will be Representing Clergy Abuse Survivors in Rome!
We are taking the fight to Rome and are standing up for all survivors on a world stage! From February 19-25, Board President Tim Lennon, Seattle Leader Mary Dispenza, Los Angeles Leader Esther Hatfield Miller and Austin Leader Carol Midboe will be traveling to Rome for Pope Francis' Papal Abuse Summit.
If you are a member of the media and looking to get in touch with these survivors while in Rome, click here for our media advisory and contact information. If you are interested in connecting with a survivor in the US from your area of coverage, please contact one of the SNAP leaders in the US listed below:
- East Coast/DC: Becky Ianni (SNAPvirginia@cox.net, 703-801-6044)
- Midwest/Chicago: Zach Hiner (email@example.com, 517-974-9009)
- Midwest/St. Louis: David Clohessy (firstname.lastname@example.org, 314314-566-9790)
- West Coast / San Francisco: Melanie Sakoda (email@example.com, 925-708-6175)
If you are looking to help spread the word about the importance of this summit and for survivors to be heard, add your voice to the conversation on social media using the hashtag #PBC2019. Be sure to follow SNAP on twitter and Facebook and share our posts, add your comments, and let the world know that we are watching!Learn More