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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Clergy sex abuse victims urge national panel to intervene

Jeff City bishop violates Catholic abuse policy, group says

He keeps silent for weeks about priest accused of sex crime

And he apparently still hasn’t notified law enforcement of allegations

SNAP seeks involvement of national lay ‘oversight board’ to protect kids

Just suspended, the priest worked at 13 churches in nine Missouri counties

He’s the third accused mid-Missouri priest to be exposed in last six months

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

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will disclose that they’re seeking help from 1) Missouri’s top Catholic archbishop and 2) a national church panel that oversees the clergy sex abuse and cover up scandal, because the Jefferson City bishop:
-- kept credible sex allegations about a mid-Missouri priest from the public for weeks &
-- refuses to even say whether they’re turning over a potential child sex crime to police

The Jeff City bishop is violating national church policy on abuse adopted in 2002, victims say.

The victims will also beg
-- current and former church members and employees to call police if they have any information about accusations against the cleric, and
-- victims and witnesses to step forward, get help, and help protect others by contacting law enforcement.

WHEN
Saturday, Feb. 27 at 1:15 p.m.

WHERE
Outside the Jefferson City Catholic Diocese headquarters, 2207 W. Main St. (near Forest Hill Ave.) in Jefferson City

WHO
Two-three victims of child molesting clergy who are leaders of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org) including a St. Louis man who is the organization’s long time national director (and who was abused by a Jeff City diocesan priest)

WHY
Last month, 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 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 and had most recently been pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Loose Creek and St. Louis Church in Bonnots Mill.

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.

SNAP is writing St. Louis’ archbishop, as the highest ranking Catholic official in Missouri to prod Gaydos to give police information about Seifner and apologize for and explain his delays and secrecy. The organization is also writing to the National Review Board, a lay oversight panel, urging it to investigate the matter and censure or discipline Gaydos.

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://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2010/01_02/2010_01_08_Tritz_CatholicPriest.htm
http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2010/01_02/2010_01_11_Lewis_DioceseKeeping.htm

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