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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Release
Sex abuse victims & advocates blast archbishop
Two priests were recently removed from ministry
One was put on leave twice, but then sent to another parish
The other is forbidden to ever present himself again as a priest
But church staff makes no public announcement about Vatican penalty
Support group criticizes Catholic hierarchy for its “continued secrecy”
Archdiocesan officials should reach out to others in pain, SNAP says
Organization also wants Brunett to list child molesting clerics on his website
The group will try to hand deliver a letter to Catholic officials urging them to:
Finally, the group will also beg anyone with information about the pedophiles to call police, so that kids will be safer and so that the wrongdoers might be prosecuted.
Last week, Fr. Dennis Kemp was suspended from active ministry and can never again function as a priest. In July 2007, Kemp was put on administrative leave when allegations surfaced that he had “inappropriate conduct” with a 12 year old. An archdiocesan investigation found Kemp should be removed. Kemp appealed to the Vatican, which finally ruled against Kemp, ordering him to “lead a life of permanent prayer and penance in reparation for the sins of abuse committed by clerics against minors.”
Last month, Fr. Michael C. O’Brien was quietly defrocked by the Vatican (an even more serious step). The archdiocese notified some parishioners (and SNAP will release copies of that letter) but refused to make a public announcement. In 1993, O’Brien was put on administrative leave from St. John Church in Vancouver, WA due to sexual abuse allegations, but church officials claim a probe “could not substantiate the accusations.” They reassigned O’Brien to St, Mary of the Valley parish in Monroe. In 2004, O’Brien was again put on leave because of another allegation, but re-instated again. In June 2008, O’Brien was again put on administrative leave and eventually resigned as pastor, and allegedly realized “that he had engaged in behaviors that were not consistent with his priestly vocation.”
SNAP believes that church officials were reckless and secretive in both cases (and shouldn’t have taken three years to make a ruling about Kemp). The group feels Seattle Archbishop Alex Brunett should aggressively reach out to anyone who has knowledge of either predator’s crimes, especially because they both walk free. SNAP wants Brunett to put notices in parish bulletins, on parish websites and in his archdiocesan newspaper and website urging victims and witnesses to call police.
For the sake of public safety, SNAP thinks Brunett should also post on his website the names of all proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics. (More than 15 bishops, a small minority, have taken this simple, inexpensive, proven step to warn parents about and protect kids from dangerous predators. Brunett, however, has repeatedly refused to do so).
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests