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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Sex Abuse Victims Leaflet Ecumenical Leaders

SNAP Urges Them to Work Harder To Stop Predators

Event Is At Catholic Institution Where Admitted Molester Works

The Priest, Ousted From Parish in 2002, Now Lives & Works At SLU

At Least Six Other Sexually Troubled Clerics Have Worked & Lived There

All Religious Figures, SNAP Argues, Should Speak Out When Colleagues Shield Pedophiles

WHAT
As leaders of all faiths gather for an ecumenical discussion, clergy sex abuse victims will hand out fliers
-- warning them that an admitted predator priest works at the facility where the group is meeting,
-- alerting them that at least three other sex offending clerics live nearby, and
-- urging them to speak out when their colleagues (in any denomination) shelter child molesters.

They'll also prod any person who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes to come forward and call police.

WHEN
Monday, July 13, 6:30 p.m.

WHERE
Outside the Aquinas Institute, 23 S. Spring (at Forest Park Parkway) in St. Louis

WHO
Several clergy molestation victims who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including the group’s national director

WHY
In 2002, Fr. Vincent W. Bryce was suspended from two parishes in the Grand Rapids Michigan diocese after admitting he sexually abusing a child. Still, despite a national ‘one strike & you’re out’ policy, Catholic officials let Bryce work at the Aquinas Institute and live at Jesuit Hall on the corner of Lindell and Grand. Both facilities abut the SLU campus. Neither SLU, Aquinas nor archdiocesan officials disclosed Bryce’s history or explained why they are letting him live and work here. (http://www.ai.edu/contact/directory.php)

At least two other sex offending priests live in the same building as Bryce. They include Fr. Chester E. Gaiter (who has been sued at least twice for child sexual abuse) and Fr. Gerhardt Lehmkuhl (who pled guilty in 1996 and was sentenced to one year in prison for child porn). At least four other child molesting clerics worked at SLU. They include Fr. Charles Miller, Fr. Juan Carlos Duran, Fr. Eugene Maio and Fr. Jack Campbell. Church officials have paid settlements to victims of each of these four clerics. (One of them, Duran, faces criminal child sex charges.) SLU has disclosed little or nothing about the seven criminals' histories or misdeeds.

SNAP wants officials with every religious group to work harder to prevent abuse, act pastorally when abuse happens, and specifically to challenge the local Catholic hierarchy to be more open about child sex cases. Dozens of proven, admitted and credibly accused priests from across the country are sent to St. Louis for "treatment" and some of them end up working in area parishes and other church facilities.

The Jewish Community Relations Council, Eden Theological Seminary and the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis are also co-sponsoring tonight's panel discussion, which features three nationally prominent Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders from out-of-state.

Bryce's phone number is 314-256-8809. Lehmkuhl's phone number is 314-658-2687.

http://www.stlamerican.com/articles/2009/05/13/news/local_news/localnews01.txt

CONTACT
David Clohessy 566 9790, Barb Dorris 862 7688


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