Roster of Press Releases


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Clergy sex victims want action on 2 predators

Child molestation case v. one of them just settled

Despite payout, he works today as a priest overseas

The other was just suspended as a teacher in Hawaii

His religious order, headquartered here, also settled lawsuit

Self-help group urges victims of both clerics to "come forward, get help"

SNAP blasts archdiocese for failing to alert public about both offenders

Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex victims will disclose that
-- a child molestation & cover up lawsuit involving an ex-Detroit seminarian has just settled, but
-- he's still working today as a priest overseas.

They'll also disclose that
-- a Detroit-based Catholic religious order quietly let a predator move to Hawaii and teach there with no warning, and
-- that the predator was suspended from the Hawaii school just last month.

Finally, the group will release 9 pages of previously secret records about one of the predators, including a 2003 letter from a high ranking Detroit archdiocesan official in which he
-- warns a church colleague about the predator, but
-- fails, along with his peers, to provide any such warning to parishioners or the public.

Monday, Oct. 26, 1:15 p.m.

Outside the Detroit archdiocesan headquarters (chancery office) 1234 Washington Blvd, Detroit

Two-three adults who were molested as kids by clergy and who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( including a Chicago woman who is the organization's founder and president

Photos of both predators are available on line at and

Last week, the Washington Post reported a new civil child sex abuse lawsuit settlement involving Detroit native Joseph Shawnee Skelton Jr., who resigned in 1988 from a Plymouth seminary after having been charged with third degree criminal assault of a teenager. Nevertheless, Skelton now works as a Catholic priest in Taglibaran diocese in the Philippines. ( and

SNAP is also disclosing today that the Detroit-based Capuchins, a Catholic religious order, quietly ousted Brother Thomas J. Gardipee after he was charged with enticing a child for immoral purposes and intimidation and was accused of sexual misconduct with a teenager. Nevertheless, Catholic officials kept quiet while Gardipee moved to Hawaii and got another teaching job. In September, SNAP publicly exposed Gardipee's past and the school suspended him.

SNAP believes Detroit archdiocesan staff should have warned parishioners about Gardipee and Skelton, and should have informed them of Gardipee's suspension and Skelton's settlement.

SNAP wants archdiocesan officials to use their considerable resources to seek out and help anyone who saw, suspected or suffered crimes by either cleric. The group wants outreach announcements posted on the archdiocesan website, in the archdiocesan newspaper and in parish bulletins throughout the archdiocese.

Skelton worked in Washington DC with a controversial priest, Fr. George Stallings, who was accused 20 years ago of molesting kids.

In the late 1980s, Skelton attended St. John's Provincial Seminary in Plymouth and intended to become a Detroit Archdiocesan priest, until he was kicked out for sexual misconduct. In 2003, then Msgr. Walter Hurley (now bishop of Grand Rapids, 616 243 0491, 616 456 8633) wrote to Philippine church officials warning them that Skelton admitted sexual misconduct. But Detroit archdiocesan officials have never informed or warned the public about Skelton.

(Two former St. John’s officials who knew Skelton are still in the Detroit area. They are retired rector Fr. Robert Byrne and Fr. Ronald DeHondt who is in ministry in St. Clair Shores, MI, 586-293-2240)

Barbara Blaine, SNAP President, 312 399 4747
David Clohessy, SNAP National Director, 314 566 9790
Barbara Dorris, SNAP Outreach Director, 314 503 0003

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests