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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Clergy sex abuse victims blast Catholic diocese

They seek out others who may have been hurt by cleric

Priest worked at 13 churches in nine Missouri counties

He’s the third accused Jeff City priest to be exposed in last six months

Bishop should "aggressively reach out" to victims and witnesses, SNAP says

Support group is concerned because church staff continues “being secretive”

There’s no evidence, SNAP believes, that Catholics have notified law enforcement

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at t two sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will
-- blast Jefferson City church staffers for keeping credible sex allegations about a mid-Missouri priest from the public, and
-- plead with current and former church members and employees to call police if they have any information about accusations against the cleric.

Afterwards, they'll try to hand deliver a letter about alleged three predator priests to local Catholic officials.

The letter urges church staff to
-- put notices about the accused predators in every parish bulletin across the diocese, begging victims and witnesses to come forward,
-- 'come clean' about other secret settlements involving predator priests and other church employees, and
-- disclose the identities of any other child molesting clerics who have
     - changed their names, and/or
     - come here from other states/dioceses.

WHEN/WHERE

Tuesday, Jan.. 12
--In Jefferson City: 10:45 a.m., outside the Jefferson City Diocese headquarters, 2207 W. Main St.
(near Forest Hill Ave.)
--In Columbia, at 1:00 p.m., outside the Columbia MO Police Department, 600 East Walnut
(corner of N 6th St.)

WHO
A Boone County man and a St. Louis woman, both of whom were victims of pedophile priests and who are leaders of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

WHY
Last week, the Jefferson City Post Tribune broke the news that Fr. Thomas Seifner was put on "temporary administrative leave" by Bishop John Gaydos in late December because of allegations of “inappropriate electronic communication” with a child five years ago. (Seifner had most recently been pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Loose Creek and St. Louis Church in Bonnots Mill.)

Seifner worked at 13 churches in 7 counties, including Callaway (Mokane), Cooper (Pilot Grove, Clear Creek and Clifton City), Cole (Jefferson City and Wardsville), Osage (Chamois, Westphalia, Bonnot’s Mill and Loose Creek), Montgomery (Rhineland) Gasconade (Morrison) and Marion (Palmyra). He was ordained in 1992.

SNAP feels Gaydos should have promptly told the police and the public about the allegations against Seifner, not just a few dozen parishioners at two tiny churches. The group believes Gaydos should personally visit each community where Seifner worked, and beg everyone to call law enforcement if they saw, suspected or suffered misdeeds by Seifner. He should do the same, SNAP thinks, about two other recently ‘outed’ predator priests.

In September, SNAP urged Gaydos to warn mid-Missourians about another predator priest, Fr. Kenneth J. Roberts, a nationally-known author and predator priest who lived in the Jefferson City Diocese. That same month, the Illinois Supreme Court tossed out a civil case against Roberts because of the statute of limitations. Since Roberts faced allegations of hurting kids in Texas, St. Louis and Belleville IL, SNAP suspects that Roberts hurt others in Missouri who are still suffering in silence, confusion and self-blame. Gaydos ignored the group’s request.

In August, SNAP disclosed that Fr. Jerry Howard (a.k.a. Carmine Sita) pled guilty to molesting a New Jersey boy in the 1980s. Catholic officials let him change his name and quietly sent him to Boonville, without warning parishioners, where Howard sexually assaulted several boys.

In each case, SNAP is convinced Gaydos acted tardily and secretively.

http://newstribune.com/articles/2010/01/08/news_local/nt357local02priest10.txt
http://www.connectmidmissouri.com/news/story.aspx?id=399142
http://www.komu.com/satellite/SatelliteRender/KOMU.com/ba8a4513-c0a8-2f11-0063-9bd94c70b769/0ffd4bd2-80ce-0971-004a-5b2cc23c7cfd

CONTACT
Barbara Dorris 314 503 0003, David Clohessy 314 566 9790, Don Asbee 573 864 1459


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


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