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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release
Giving Voice to Victims

For immediate release:
Thursday, November 20, 2008

No evidence Congressional chaplain, who oversaw pedophiles, called police

Chicago priest, now Congressional chaplain, oversaw pedophiles

There’s no evidence he called police or warned parishioners about them

Despite cleric’s secrecy, he wins promotion to prestigious Washington post

He and Cardinal George secretly tried to get a notorious predator freed from jail

SNAP wants explanations, apologies & assurances that church staff won't do this again

Group to Cardinal: “Disclose how many other pedophiles you have tried or are trying to free”

A Wisconsin court decides next month whether to keep a Chicago predator permanently behind bars

At a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will blast Chicago’s Cardinal George for
-- helping a Chicago priest become a DC chaplain after that priest oversaw pedophiles,
-- failing to discipline that chaplain for writing an unauthorized letter to try and get a predator out of prison, and
-- trying himself, over and over again until 2002, to get that same convicted serial child predator priest freed.

They’ll urge George to
-- disclose how many other priests have been assigned to ‘monitor’ predator priests and whether any are doing so now,
-- disclose how many other convicted predators he & other church staff are trying to get out of prison,
-- publicly pledge to never make such reckless, callous moves in the future, and
-- forbid other archdiocesan staff from being reckless in this way as well.

And they’ll challenge the congressional chaplain to disclose whether he ever called police or warned the public about any of the predators, especially those who were put back into any kinds of church jobs.

TODAY, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2:00 p.m.

Outside the Archdiocesan chancery office/headquarters, 155 E. Superior (East of Michigan Ave)

Several concerned Catholics and members of a national support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (, including the organization’s president and founder


A story printed today in Roll Call discloses that Fr. Daniel Coughlin, chaplain for the US House of Representatives, spent at least five years overseeing predator priests in Chicago. There’s no mention whatsoever of whether he ever notified police or parishioners about the accused clerics. SNAP wants Coughlin to openly address this question and other questions about his role in keeping clergy sex crimes hidden.

In 1999, Coughlin wrote a letter to Wisconsin prison officials, urging them to free Fr. Norbert Maday, a convicted, imprisoned serial predator. In a deposition given this year, George said, “I have never seen this (letter) before ... I didn’t approve this letter.” SNAP wants George to discipline Coughlin for making this unauthorized, reckless move.

However, in previously secret church records obtained several months ago, George admitted making repeated, written, secret and recent efforts to get Maday cleric out of prison.

According to Roll Call, “One study was particularly critical” of the center Coughlin oversaw, “where accused priests were essentially living without monitors and had master keys to the building — including rooms where other retreat visitors slept. Coughlin said the system in place was much stricter when he ran the center before 1995, and the 2006 report gave no indication at what point the monitoring protocols at the center had lapsed.”

In 1994, Maday was convicted of molesting two boys in Wisconsin. In 2003, the Cardinal’s hand-picked abuse review panel recommended, for the second time, that Maday be defrocked. That didn’t happen until late last year.

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

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests