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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release
Giving Voice to Victims

 

For immediate release:
Sunday, September 7, 2008

Clergy sex abuse victims want two priests disciplined

One helped predator battle allegations; the other was ‘biased & ineffective’ monitor

Top chancery official essentially helped serial pedophile deceive Catholic lay panel

SNAP to Cardinal: “Name any other accused priests who are still in parishes today”

Records show alleged predators are allegedly secretly ‘monitored’ while still on the job

Groups also want to know if church is helping other imprisoned child molesters get free

WHAT:

As parishioners leave mass, clergy sex abuse victims will hand them leaflets about two top Chicago Catholic officials. It urges Cardinal George to discipline two priests - one who ineffectively 'monitored' an accused pedophile priest who is his close friend, and another who actively tried to help that same pedophile beat back sex abuse allegations before a church panel.

The flier also prods George to disclose the names of any other accused predator priests who are
-- still in parishes and alleged being 'monitored' by their colleagues, and
-- in prison and are getting help from archdiocesan staff to be released early.

WHEN: Sunday, Sept. 7, noon

WHERE: On the sidewalk in front of Holy Name Cathedral, 735 N State Street

WHO: One of the victims in last month’s settlement (who spoke recently in public for the first time), several concerned Catholics, and members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

WHY: Recently released secret church records and Cardinal George’s sworn deposition show that at least two archdiocesan priests acted irresponsibly and deceptively in the case of an accused serial predator priest, Fr. Joseph R. Bennett. Bennett was suspended from his suburban parish in 2006 only after at least a dozen of his victims had reported him to church authorities.

Those same documents show that George overruled the recommendations of his own hand-picked abuse panel and kept at least two accused predator priests were kept in parish ministry instead of promptly suspending them. In each case, the alleged sex offenders were alleged and secretly (but ineffectively) ‘monitored’ by biased fellow priests. In one case, a high ranking George lieutenant advised one of the predators on how to defend himself.

Fr. Edward Grace is the archdiocese’s Vicar for Priests. Grace. He urged Bennett to essentially lie about birthmarks on his genitals to ‘beat’ multiple child sex abuse allegations before a lay church panel. Fr. Leonard Dubi agreed to ‘monitor’ Bennett even though the two are close friends and own property together in Indiana. They then took a trip to Mexico together.

SNAP wants these ‘enablers,’ whose deceit put kids in harm’s way, disciplined.

SNAP sees the same pattern in a similar recent case, involving the now imprisoned Fr. Daniel McCormack. At least five male church officials implicated in the McCormack case have since essentially been promoted by church officials. Only one person lost her job – the female school principal who actually called the police about McCormack.

SNAP fears other accused child-molesting clergy are in still Chicago parishes right now, unbeknownst to parishioners, allegedly being ‘monitored’ by peers. The group wants George to disclose who and where they are and/or abide by the church’s national abuse policy and publicly suspend them.

The same deposition and documents also reveal that George and his top staffers spent considerable time and effort trying to win the early release of a convicted serial child predator, Fr. Norbert Maday, who is in a Wisconsin prison. Again, SNAP suspects and fears there are or have been other jailed sex offender clerics who have gotten or are getting the Cardinal’s ‘behind the scenes’ help. If this is happening, SNAP wants George to stop it immediately, and wants him to disclose if he’s taken similar reckless action with other pedophiles.

Last month, SNAP publicly called on George to promise he’d never again try to get a convicted pedophile priest out of jail early or keep a credibly accuse predator priest with multiple allegations in parish work. He has not responded.

In the cases of both Bennett and Fr. Daniel McCormack, George kept the predators in active parish ministry for months despite the recommendations of his own handpicked sex abuse panel, which wanted the priests ousted.

CONTACT
Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP President & Founder 312 399 4747 cell
Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP Outreach Director 314 862 7688 home
David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP National Director 314 566 9790 cell


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


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