The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Release
Convicted sex offender cleric says mass here
Another accused child molester was made bishop
Victims blast head of Columbus-based denomination
Group wants church officials to explain their “recklessness and deceit”
It urges anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy crimes to come forward
They will also urge
The disclosures are based on church records (including memos written three weeks ago by two bishops). They involve the Reformed Catholic Church, which is headed by a Columbus man, Bishop Phillip Zimmerman, who is also the CEO of a Columbus non-profit agency which helps HIV/AIDS patients.
One of the criminals, Rev. Sean-Michael Lyons (also known as Michael S. Lyons), is a registered sex offender, having been convicted in 1985 on ten counts of lewd acts with young boys. He was sentenced to 12 years in state prison in New Jersey. Last year, he was sent back to prison for failing to register under the provisions of Megan’s Law. http://www.njherald.com/story/news/01LYONS-web
Yet, last month, Lyons was invited and participated as a priest at a special church event in Columbus.
The other sex offender, Patrick Batuyong, an ex-Roman Catholic deacon, was made bishop in the denomination in 2006. In 1993, he was arrested in Fayette County GA on six counts of aggravated sexual abuse, solicitation of juvenile prostitution, criminal abuse, and criminal sexual assault. His victims were minors. The court file is now sealed. In 2006, Zimmerman made Batuyong bishop of the denomination’s southeastern region.
SNAP believes church officials should pledge to never again ordain or welcome credibly accused sex offenders and should aggressively reach out to anyone who saw, suspected or suffered crimes by Lyons or Batuyong recently.
Lyons lives in Oceanside CA but has also reportedly lived in New Jersey and in Mexico. Batuyong died in April 2009.
A photo of Lyons participating in the recent Columbus event is available at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=76082064183#/photo.php?pid=9330517&op=19&o=all&view=all&subj=76082064183&aid=-1&oid=76082064183&id=599645376
The Reformed Catholic Church just began renting this Columbus church in July, from the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio (headed by Bishop Thomas E. Breidenthal, email@example.com) Zimmerman also heads the Pater Noster House, a temporary residence for homeless HIV/AIDS patients.
Zimmerman can be reached at 614-358-4487 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He is a Philadelphia PA native and sometimes uses the first name George.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests