PA- Victims thank church for outreach effort
And they “out” another Pittsburgh predator priest
Church admits he committed “sexual misconduct”
But cleric is also accused of assaulting a PA boy later
Catholic officials should send more letters, group says
SNAP: Bishop Zubik “only acts when prodded to do so”
Holding childhood photos and signs at a sidewalk news conference, clergy abuse victims and advocates will;
– expose another priest who church officials admit was guilty of sexual misconduct and who worked at five Pittsburgh area parishes (but has attracted no attention locally), and
– thank Pittsburgh diocesan officials for sending three “outreach” letters over the past few months to Catholic school alums about several credibly accused child molesting clerics.
They will also urge Pittsburgh Catholic officials to
–send letters to all alums of all local parochial schools, begging others who were molested by clerics to come forward, and
–aggressively use their other resources (church websites, parish bulletins, pulpit announcements and personal visits) to prod victims to speak up and call police, and
–explain why they are letting religious orders hide names and whereabouts of child molesting clerics.
Tuesday, June 17, 11 a.m.
Outside of the Pittsburgh diocese headquarters (“chancery office”), 111 Boulevard of the Allies (corner of Stanwix) in Pittsburgh, PA
Two-three members of a self help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)
In an unusual move, SNAP is thanking Pittsburgh Catholic officials for writing letters alerting their flock about several child molesting Catholic clerics (Fr. John Wellinger, Franciscan Brother Kenneth Ghastin, Franciscan Friar Michael Ledoux, and Marianist Brother Bernard Hartman).
But the local church hierarchy must do more and act sooner, SNAP says. Pittsburgh Catholic officials act almost always only when prodded to do so by external sources. Specifically, the group wants Bishop David Zubik to
–disclose – publicly and in parishes -- that a priest worked in five western Pennsylvania parishes and molested a child in one of them after being removed from a Boston parish for adult sexual misconduct, and
–personally visit Pittsburgh area churches where the priest worked, begging victims to step forward, get help and call police.
He is Fr. John P. Carroll, who was accused in 1997 of molesting a boy in the1960s at St. Michael's in Elizabethtown, PA. Fr. Carroll is listed on the Boston archdiocese website as a “credibly accused” predator priest.
In 1997, Fr. Carroll was removed from his post in Boston because of a "true allegation of sexual misconduct with an adult woman," according to church records.
Fr. Carroll is believed to be living at the Regina Cleri Residence in Boston (617-367-1978).
Fr. Carroll was assigned to at least five western Pennsylvania parishes: St. Michael's in Elizabeth (1962-1963), St. Isaac Jogues in Elrama (1962-1963) St. Margaret's in Greentree (1963-67), St. Susanna's (1972) and St. Alphonsus in Springdale (1972-1973).
In 1973, Fr. Carroll was sent back to Boston where he worked at five more assignments before retiring in 2005.
In a separate but related matter, over the last three months, eight Catholic clerics who worked at North Catholic High School in Pittsburgh have been publicly exposed – for the first time - as credibly accused child molesters. http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/6113861-74/diocese-catholic-north#axzz31igroE6D
They are Brother Bernard Hartman, Brother James Kline, Brother Joseph Binder, Brother Julius May, Brother William Charles Hildenbrand, Brother Francis Meder, Brother Ralph August Mravintz and Brother John Keegan.
Since all of them worked at a parochial school, SNAP wants Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik to write letters to alums of all current and closed parochial schools, urging others who were molested to speak up.
One of the accused (Hartman) faces criminal charges in Australia. Another one (Mravintz) was convicted of child sex crimes in 1986 in Pittsburgh.
Three of the accused (Kline, Binder, and May) were publicly exposed last month for the first time.
SNAP believes that “there may well be several – or even many - Pittsburgh area child molesting clerics who have yet to be publicly exposed. SNAP urges Bishop Zubik and other local Catholic officials to “go beyond the bare minimum and aggressively use their resources (pulpits, websites, bulletins etc.) to beg those who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes to speak up.”
SNAP says it's “irresponsible for Catholic officials to passively sit back and wait for the phone to ring.” Zubik should “personally visit every single parish where a proven, admitted and credibly accused priest, nun, seminarian or church employee worked, emphatically begging victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to call police and prosecutors,” they say The “usual church response” of “small, terse, carefully crafted three sentence notices tucked far back in a diocesan newspaper or parish bulletin don't cut it,” said SNAP director David Clohessy of St. Louis.
In particular, SNAP says, Zubik should focus in the short term on finding those who saw, suspected or suffered crimes by Hartman who faces pending criminal child sex charges in Australia. “Prompt, responsible action by Zubik might well protect kids right away by getting Hartman behind bars,” Clohessy stressed.
This cascade of revelations began after SNAP prodded Zubik (on March 24) to seek out others who were hurt by Hartman. http://www.snapnetwork.org/pa_marianist_brother_accused_of_abuse_in_australia_spent_time_in_pittsburgh
Hartman, like the other seven accused clerics, belongs to a St. Louis-based religious order called the Marianists. In response to SNAP's plea, Pittsburgh diocesan officials sent the first of two letters to North Catholic High School alums.
Most clerics belong to dioceses. But many belong to religious orders like the Marianists. And religious orders are “even more secretive” about clergy sex crimes than dioceses are, SNAP says.
Many diocesan church officials “split hairs and dodge responsibility” in religious order abuse cases, SNAP maintains. But that's irresponsible because “religious order clerics work in a diocese only with the bishop's permission, so ultimately, the bishop is responsible for all clergy sex crimes in his jurisdiction,” Clohessy says.
According to the Pittsburgh bishop's website, at least ten religious orders work or have worked in the diocese: Benedictine Monks, Brothers of the Christian Schools, District of Eastern North America, Capuchin Friars, Province of Saint Augustine, Congregation of the Holy Spirit, Province of the United States (Spiritans), Congregation of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri, Congregations of the Passion (Passionists), Franciscan Friars, Province of Saint John the Baptist, Franciscan Friars, Province of the Immaculate Conception, Franciscan Friars, Third Order Regular of Saint Francis, Society of the Brother Servants of the Holy Spirit, Society of the Divine Word.
SNAP applauds these “brave victims for stepping forward” and “begs them to contact secular authorities, not church figures.”
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.