Survivors Network of
those Abused by Priests
Giving Voice to Victims
For immediate release:
January 10, 2005
For more information:
Mike Knellinger of Dayton Chair, Dayton Voice of the Faithful
Christy Miller of Cincinnati Leader SNAP Cincinnati 513-383-2198
Groups Want Cincinnati Archbishop To Speak Up
About Controversial Priest
Parole Revocation Hearing Set For This Thursday
Pilarczyk Urged To Break His Silence About Clerics
Behavior Since Conviction
Two groups concerned about the clergy sex abuse crisis are asking
Cincinnati's Catholic Archbishop to speak out against one of his
own priests. Leaders of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
[SNAP] and Voice of the Faithful [VOTF] are writing Archbishop Daniel
Pilarczyk urging him to attend Father Thomas Kuhns probation
revocation hearing and publicly insist that Kuhn accept the restrictions
placed upon him, and pledge to aggressively seek Kuhn's permanent
removal from the priesthood.
They also want the prelate to closely monitor Kuhns whereabouts
and activity and insist that Kuhn promptly deliver the court-mandated
apologies and admissions that he was at fault, not the youngsters
he hurt. Kuhn was convicted in June 2004 to one count of public
indecency for masturbation in front of a minor and ten counts of
giving alcohol to minors.
This Thursday at 8:30 am in Montgomery County Common Pleas court,
Judge Mary Katherine Huffman will consider sending Kuhn to jail
for allegedly breaking his probation condition. When Kuhn keeps
hurting his victims by not apologizing, by going back to
schools where there are youngsters Pilarczyk, as Kuhns
boss, has a moral duty to publicly discipline Kuhn, said Christy
SNAPs Cincinnati director. Otherwise, a dangerous man
makes a mockery of church authorities, and others engaged in sexual
misconduct learn that there are few consequences for their misdeeds,
even if they get caught.
We strongly suspect that Kuhn has broken his restrictions
in other ways, but some Catholics and church employees are too fearful
to report him said Mike Knellinger Dayton, VOTF spokesman.
In the days ahead, we hope they will examine their consciences,
pick up the phone, and do whats right. He added that
some parishioners, school officials and church staffers who suspected
abuse or misbehavior in the past have kept silent. Their inability
or refusal to speak up may have led to more crimes against children
I pray thats no longer happening, said Knellinger.
A copy of the SNAP/VOTF letter to Archbishop, sent via fax and
e-mail, is below:
January 10, 2005
Most Rev. Daniel E. Pilarczyk
Archbishop of Cincinnati
100 East Eighth Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Dear Archbishop Pilarczyk:
Father Thomas Kuhn is facing a hearing to revoke his probation this
Thursday at 8:30 am in Montgomery County Common Pleas court. The
revocation action was requested by Kuhns probation officer
as a result of his apparent violation of the terms of his probation
as set forth last July 21.
Kuhn has been the epicenter of upheaval for the Church, schools,
community and most importantly, the youngsters whom he victimized.
Kuhn and his attorney continue to cause turmoil by skirting or ignoring
his probation terms, and by quibbling with the court over semantics
and the wording of statements. It reached the point this past week
where the editorial staff of the Dayton Daily News felt compelled
to admonish Kuhn and his high priced attorney for continuing to
drag on the fight.
His actions are problematic for several reasons:
First, they rub salt into the already deep wounds of those whom
he has victimized.
Second, they continue to bring frustration and shame to devout Catholics
who feel that Kuhn represents the worst elements of clergy misbehavior.
And third, Kuhn's deeds lead Catholics to doubt your sincerity about
dealing with the problem of clergy sex abuse. After all, Father
Thomas Kuhn remains a diocesan priest sworn to obey you. Yet you
apparently choose to remain silent in the face of his obstreperous
and harmful actions, doing little to "rein him in" or
The fact is that the man entered a no contest plea
and was convicted of crimes against minors. Included is the public
the polite way of describing his crime
of masturbating while fixing his gaze on a young male, emotionally
damaging the youngster for life.
Voice of the Faithful [VOTF] and Survivors Network of those Abused
by Priests [SNAP] now call upon you as Kuhns spiritual leader
and employer to intervene.
We urge that you:
· Attend the probation revocation hearing and publicly insist
that Kuhn accept the restrictions placed upon him.
· Publicly pledge to aggressively seek Kuhn's permanent removal
from the priesthood.
· Closely monitor Kuhns whereabouts and activity
· Insist that Kuhn promptly deliver the court-mandated apologies
and admissions that he was at fault, not the youngsters he hurt.
Kuhn and his attorney continue to try to minimize his criminal
actions. By your continued silence, you risk the appearance of sanctioning
Let us remember that it is our children who were the most harmed
by this mans criminal and reckless actions. The legal system
has spoken. It is now time for you to step up. In 2003 you told
some Catholics that you had to stay silent until after Kuhns
trial. The trial was over more than six months ago and it is time
for you to deliver on your promise. It is for the well being of
the Catholics of this Archdiocese, the community in general and
most importantly our children that you make public your opinion
and intentions on this matter.
Michael H. Knellinger
Chairperson, Voice of the Faithful Dayton Affiliate
Leader, SNAP Cincinnati
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
of those Abused by Priests