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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Letters

Letter to all Indianapolis Archdiocesan Priests

 

February 1, 2006

Dear Father:

We are hoping that you will feel and display compassion for the wounded and concern for the vulnerable. And we are hoping you will show courage, the kind of courage your boss, Archbishop Buechlein, has not shown.

Specifically, we're hoping that you will warn unsuspecting families, from your pulpit and in your parish bulletin, about a dangerous priest.

We've all read the stories. We all know how this works.

A suspected pedophile is publicly accused, then suspended. But he's not cured.

All he has to do is work a little harder to get access to kids. And he does it in two ways.

He gravitates toward families who either don't believe the allegations or who haven't heard about the allegations.

And because his name appears in the newspaper just a few times, because families move around a lot, because people don't recall what they read, and because a molester is usually shrewd and personable and charming, he succeeds. He eventually 'befriends' and abuses more children.

This is what we're trying to stop.

We're worried specifically about Fr. Harry Monroe, who faces several civil child sex abuse lawsuits. We know that at least one of Monroe's victims became so depressed he took his own life.

Please help us make sure this doesn't happen again.

We have no evidence that Monroe is "cured." Church officials have disclosed virtually nothing about any "treatment" he may have received. As far as we know, he's still alive and reasonably healthy. He shows no sign of remorse, which might be the first indication that he is getting help for his illness.

So we must do what any prudent person would do: assume he's still dangerous.

Monroe has moved, we're told, to Nashville. But he may well come back to Indiana for visits. Remember: rather than start afresh and build up new relationships with new families very slowly, child molesters often go back to the families that already know, love and trust them. It's very possible that Monroe has visited or will visit one of your parishioners.

So we're begging you to please do what your Archbishop won't do ' use every means possible to warn parents about Monroe. You may be saving a child's life.

And there are other benefit to such openness. First, you will be helping to restore in your parishioners some of the faith and trust that has been so severely shattered by the clergy sex abuse and cover up crisis. Survey after survey show that Catholics want more transparency from their leaders about molestation cases.

Second, you will also be helping victims heal. Time and time again, victims tell us they feel better when they see authorities openly addressing abuse cases.

Child sex abuse thrives in secrecy. The solution is openness. We hope you'll join us in being part of the solution.

We hope to hear from you soon.

Sincerely,

Ceil Shepley of Indianapolis, Indianapolis SNAP Co-Director 317 513 8089
Ceciliashepley@aol.com

Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP Outreach Director 314 503 0003 cell, 314 862 7688
SNAPdorris@gmail.com

David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP National Director 314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915
SNAPclohessy@aol.com

Sandy Teagarden Thomas, Indianapolis SNAP Co-Director 317 888 1424 cell, 317 833 9996
sandrak765@yahoo.com

Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP president 312 399 4747
snapblaine@hotmail.com

P.S. Fr. Monroe may soon be the most prolific child molesting cleric in Indiana history. We're not asking that you compile and release a thorough listing of all admitted, proven and credibly accused Indiana clerics. But we do feel you owe it to your flock to at least warn them about this predator.





Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
www.snapnetwork.org