SNAP
Press Release

 

BACK TO:

Press Release
List



 


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release
Giving Voice to Victims

 

For immediate release:
January 18, 2005

For more information:
Jaime Romo of San Diego, SNAP San Diego Director (760) 519-0823
Mary Grant of Long Beach, SNAP Southwest Regional Director (626) 419-2930 cell David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP National Director (314) 566 9790

Sex Abuse Group Urges San Bernardino Bishop To Reach Out To Victims

Cleric Worked At Parishes After Allegedly Abusing Boy

Group Worries Transferred Priest’s Alleged Crimes Were Covered-up By Bishop’s Colleagues

SNAP to Barnes: “Stop Hiding Abuse and Start Healing Victims”

A support group for clergy abuse victims wants San Bernardino Bishop to reach out to anyone who may have witnessed or experienced molestation by an accused abusive cleric who was transferred from other dioceses where bishops have been charged in civil lawsuits for covering-up sex crimes by priests.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is asking Bishop Gerald Barnes to go to parishes where accused priest worked and urge victims and witnesses to come forward.

Fr. Theodore (Ted) Feely, who is accused of abusing a boy in a soon to be filed civil lawsuit against the Diocese of Rockford, IL, also worked at parishes in Barnes' diocese. Feely, now deceased, worked at three Riverside parishes: Queen of Angels, St. Thomas, and Our Lady of Guadalupe.

“In the interest of openness and healing, we urge you to reach out to anyone who may have been abused or witnessed abuse by Feely in your diocese,” says Jaime Romo, SNAP San Diego Director.

“As you should already know, Feely was transferred several times to various dioceses (including Los Angeles and Stockton) yet was returned to work in your diocese multiple times after allegedly abusing a boy in Rockford,” said SNAP leaders in their letter to Bishop Barnes.

SNAP leaders say that church officials in Stockton and LA have knowingly allowed known and suspected child molesters to work in their dioceses and have a history of not reporting these heinous crimes to law enforcement. Oliver O’Grady, Michael Baker and Michael Wempe are well documented examples of such a dangerous pattern of cover-up.

In the O'Grady trial, Mahony testified O'Grady was the only pedophile priest he dealt with in Stockton. Last month, however, CNN first reported that Mahony said two more Stockton priests who allegedly molested youngsters had allegedly slipped his memory. (http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0412/09/asb.01.html)

“I had forgotten about those incidents,” Mahony testified in a Nov. 23, 2004 deposition. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2004/12/11

“Regardless of church officials’ 'memory problems' or management failures in Stockton and LA, Bishop Barnes now has a moral obligation to reach out to others who may have been hurt by Feely,” says Mary Grant, SNAP Southwest Regional Director.

The group wants Barnes to put notices in church bulletins and diocesan newspapers, and on their diocesan web sites about Feely’s history. SNAP also wants Barnes to personally visit the parishes where Feely worked, and make "strong personal appeals to witnesses and victims to come forward so that those already wounded can heal and those still at risk can be protected."

SNAP is a national self-help support group for men and women victimized by clergy.

SNAP’s letters, sent today via e-mail and fax, are below:

January 18, 2005

San Bernardino Diocese

Dear Bishop Barnes:

We, the members of SNAP, (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) are very troubled that an alleged child molester, Fr. Ted Feely, who is accused of abusing a boy in a soon to be filed civil lawsuit against the Diocese of Rockford, IL, also worked at parishes in your diocese. Feely, now deceased, worked at three Riverside parishes: Queen of Angels, St. Thomas, and Our Lady of Guadalupe. In the interest of openness and healing, we urge you to reach out to anyone who may have been abused or witnessed abuse by Feely in your diocese.

As you should already know, Feely was transferred several times to various dioceses (including Los Angeles and Stockton) yet was returned to work in your diocese multiple times after allegedly the boy in Rockford.

It is no secret that church officials in Stockton and LA have knowingly allowed known and suspected child molesters to work in their dioceses and have a history of not reporting these heinous crimes to law enforcement. Oliver O’Grady, Michael Baker and Michael Wempe are well documented examples of such a dangerous pattern of cover-up.

In light of this, we are specifically urging you to:

- put notices in all your church bulletins, your diocesan newspaper, and on your diocesan web site about Feely’s history and encourage victims to come forward and seek therapy.

- personally visit each parish where Feely worked, and make strong personal appeals to witnesses and victims to come forward. SNAP members are willing to go to these parishes with you and share their own stories of how they found the strength and courage to come forward and getting help.

- prod your fellow bishops in the other diocese where Feely worked to do likewise.

The goal is simple: to help ensure that those already wounded can heal and that those still trapped by the abuse, suffering in guilt, shame and isolation, can come forward and get help and know that they are not alone.

It’s no secret that many known and alleged abusive priests are not behind bars, because church officials shielded them from prosecution. Surely you can understand our grave concern and reason to suspect that like so many other priests, Feely too may have bee shielded from any accountability for his alleged crimes.

The fact that this allegedly dangerous man has worked at parishes in your diocese should weigh heavily on your conscience, knowing that you have a Christian duty to inform parishioners of his history and help victims and witnesses feel safe coming forward. We urge you again to take prompt steps now to try to reach out to anyone who may have been harmed by Fr. Feely or witnesses that can help determine his guilt or innocence.

We look forward to your response.

Jaime Romo of San Diego, SNAP San Diego Director (760) 519-0823 or sdsnap@cox.net

Mary Grant of Long Beach, SNAP Southwest Regional Director (626) 419-2930 or mgrantsnap@earthlink.net

SNAP, P.O. Box 20491, Long Beach, CA 90814, SNAPnetwork.org


 

 


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