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SNAP
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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release
Giving Voice to Victims

 

For Immediate Release:
January 17, 2008

For More Information:
Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director, 414 429 7259 cell
David Clohessy, SNAP National Director, 314 645 5915, 314 566 9790 cell
Barbara Dorris Outreach Director, SNAP, 314 862 768

Detroit Cardinal Let Known Pedophile Priest Work Elsewhere

He Appears to Have Violated Order by Wisconsin Attorney General

Despite Repeated Written Warnings, Predator Was Sent On & Molested Again

Newly Released Records Show That Maida May Also Have Destroyed Evidence

Over 30 Years, Serial Child Molesting Cleric Was Sent to 20+ Parishes in 3 States

Now Behind Bars For His Crimes, He’s Still A Priest Today & Faces New Civil Lawsuit

WHAT

At a sidewalk news conference, clergy molestation victims will strongly urge Michigan’s top Catholic official to:

-- explain why he let a suspended, credibly accused pedophile priest move to a new state and work around unsuspecting families,

-- apologize to a Nevada man who was then molested by the predator, and

-- help reach out to anyone hurt by a the recently-sued priest.


WHEN
Today, Thursday, Jan. 17, 1:30 p.m.

WHO
Two-three clergy sex abuse victims who are members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, including a Milwaukee man who is the organization’s long time Midwest director

WHERE
Outside the archdiocesan chancery office, 1234 Washington Blvd., Detroit

WHY

In the 1980’s, as Green Bay’s bishop, Cardinal Adam Maida allowed Fr. John Patrick Feeney to move to Las Vegas and work in a parish, despite repeated and confirmed allegations that Feeney had molested kids and written warnings about Feeney’s sexual proclivities. 

Recently released, long-secret church records show that Feeney, who had been assigned to 20 parishes in the Green Bay diocese over a period of 20 years, was deemed “untreatable” by Wisconsin treatment specialists.  According to church documents, reports concerning Feeney’s abuse were received by diocesan officials since Feeney’s “very first assignment.” 

In October 1983, Maida was named Green Bay’s bishop. That month, his predecessor wrote to Feeney that “civil authorities” including “the Attorney General” of Wisconsin had ordered the diocese to either get Feeney into secure treatment or he “would be prosecuted.”  Instead, that bishop told Feeney that he would write “a good letter of recommendation” to an out of state bishop that would contain no mention of his criminal behavior against children. 

In September 1984, instead of putting Feeney in treatment, Maida let Feeney move to a Las Vegas parish, with no warning to parishioners or the public.

Earlier this week, a Nevada man filed a civil lawsuit against Feeney and his supervisors. He was molested by Feeney in 1984 and 1985, some 20 years after Green Bay church officials first received reports of child sexual abuse against children involving Feeney.

Several letters in the newly released documents are from a church operated “treatment” facility for pedophile priests in New Mexico that explicitly asks Maida to destroy “records” concerning Feeney’s criminal behavior out of “concern for the welfare of individuals and dioceses.” 

SNAP is concerned that state and federal laws may have been broken in doing so. 

Last week, in a separate case, two brothers, Troy and Todd Merryfield, filed a civil lawsuit in Wisconsin, charging the Green Bay diocese with fraud.   

Testimony in a Wisconsin criminal court by the brothers in 2004 led to Feeney’s conviction for child sex assault in Wisconsin in 2004.

Feeney is now serving a 15 year prison term in Wisconsin. 


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


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