The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
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Accused child molesting cleric opens new church
It's less than 1/2 mile from one of his victims in Mesa
Clergy sex abuse group to write mayor and building owner
A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is upset that a controversial suspended and accused pedophile priest is opening a new church less than ½ mile away from one of his victims.
Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are distraught about Msgr. Dale Fushek, who has recently started his own church in Mesa.
Last Sunday, Fushek apparently held his first services at the Fiesta Fountains at 1316 S. Longmore (www.fiestafountainsaz.com). He also operates another church called the Praise and Worship Center (www.praiseandworshipcenter.net)
Fushek stands accused of seven misdemeanor charges of sex-related behavior with male teens.
"There's considerable evidence, repeated allegations and pending legal action about wrongdoing by Fushek," said David Clohessy of SNAP's national director. "In spite of this, a handful of officials provide space for him and dozens of naive church-goers apparently trust this charismatic predator."
Clohessy said he worries about innocent kids who may be abused by Fushek and the potential legal liability of organizations that provide him meeting space.
Fushek is evidently renting the Mesa location.
SNAP leaders say they'll soon write the building's owner and Mesa elected officials urging them to take some kind of action against Fushek.
Several times, SNAP has urged Bishop Thomas Olmstead of Phoenix to stop paying and start defrocking Fushek. The group also wants the church hierarchy to use websites, parish bulletins and the diocesan newspaper to reach out to anyone who 'saw, suspected or suffered' the cleric's crimes, and urge them to 'call the police as soon as possible.'
"Olmstead should use his considerable resources to warn unsuspecting neighbors, families and prospective church members about this dangerous man," said Barbara Dorris, SNAP's outreach director.
Olmstead has issued a public statement discouraging Catholics from attending Fushek's services.
"Warning Catholics to avoid Fushek might help," said Mary Grant of Long Beach, California, SNAP's western regional director. "But prodding victims and witnesses to come forward and help get Fushek locked up is far better. Nothing protects kids better than jailing a sex offender."
"And alerting those who may not know of Fushek's crimes is also much better," Dorris said.
Here is an e-mail Fushek sent to some of his supporters recently:
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Our prayer will begin at 10:00 a.m. at the Fiesta Fountains, 1316 S. Longmore Mesa, AZ 85202
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests