PA- Pittsburgh child molesting Catholic clerics are exposed, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014
Statement by Judy Jones of St. Louis, Midwest Assistant Midwest Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (636 433 2511, 314 974 5003, SNAPjudy@gmail.com)
At least 31 Marianists – including at least eight who worked at North Catholic school in Pittsburgh – are proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesters, according to an investigative report in today's Tribune Review. There are at least 157 accusers.
Here's what the article doesn't mention and what the Marianists try desperately to hide: The Marianists continue to protect predators today.
– One accused predator. Fr. Charles H. Miller, was quietly sent to Rome after allegations against him surfaced in St. Louis (and were deemed “credible” by church officials). He is still on the job in the literal and figurative power center of Catholicism, where millions of unsuspecting young people and their families visit every year. (Keep in mind: it takes only seconds for a priest to shove his tongue in a girl's mouth or his hand down a boy's pants.)
– Fr. William Christensen, who's accused of molesting at least 30 kids in Bangladesh (and may still be there now).
– Br. William Mueller, who's accused of molesting dozens of kids in Missouri, Colorado and Texas (and still lives in Texas now).
Catholic officials will stress that the latter two have been defrocked. But they've never shown evidence of this. And the Marianists have made no efforts whatsoever to help law enforcement pursue any of their clerics.
It's incredibly disingenuous for Fr. Martin Solma to claim he and his colleagues are “relieved that this information has become public” when he's helping, right now, to keep hidden the names and whereabouts of perhaps dozens of other known and alleged Marianist predators.
It's also disingenuous for Pittsburgh diocesan officials, like Fr. Ron Lengwin, to claim abuse is “something we would want to know as early as possible.” If that's true, then Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik should be writing letters to alums of every Catholic school in the diocese, whether run by the Jesuits, the Franciscans, or the Marianists, begging victims to step forward.
We urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes in Pittsburgh – by Marianists or other Catholic entities – to find the courage to call police, expose wrongdoers, protect kids and start healing.
For the number of child molesting Pittsburgh area Catholic clergy see:
(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.
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.