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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

New clergy abuse & cover up suit is filed

Group wants bishop to list all predators on his website

Two Massachusetts dioceses have agreed recently to do this

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will
--disclose and discuss a new clergy sex abuse and cover up lawsuit against a New Hampshire cleric,
--prod Catholic officials – here and elsewhere – to aggressively reach out to anyone else he hurt, and
--urge New Hampshire’s bishop to permanently post on his website the names, whereabouts and status of all child molesting clerics, including this man

WHEN
Wednesday, July 21, 1:30 p.m.

WHERE
Outside the diocesan headquarters (chancery office), 153 Ash Street, Manchester, NH

WHO
Two members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a Missouri man who is the organization’s long time executive director

VISUALS
The group will provide copies of the alleged predator’s photo and copies of the lawsuit.

WHY
In 1967-68, when he was 11-12 years old, an altar boy at St. Brendan’s parish was repeatedly sexually abused by Fr. George St. Jean, who told the boy not to tell anyone about what St. Jean was doing. Today, that victim is filing a civil lawsuit today against the Manchester Catholic diocese and the Washington DC-based Oblates of Mary Immaculate (202 522 3557) which directly supervised St. Jean.

According to a 2009 report from the NH Attorney General, St. Jean is also accused of molesting at least one child in either Tyngsboro, Lowell or Dracut, MA. And in May 2010, Plymouth NH resident John Labbe sued St. Jean for sexually assaulted him about 100 times as a boy growing up in Colebrook in the 1960s, when St. Jean was assigned to the Shrine of Our Lady of Grace in Colebrook.

St. Jean worked in at least three New Hampshire towns including Colebrook (1958-59 and 1965-72, Novitiate of Our Lady of Grace), and Hudson (1962-64 at the Oblates Retreat House). He also had at least two Massachusetts assignments (Natick from 1973-74 at the Oblate Center and Lowell from 1975-77 at the Oblate Fathers Residence), and one in Connecticut (Williamantic from 1960-61 at the Immaculata Retreat House).

The victim in the new lawsuit is represented by Miami FL attorney Jessica Arbour (305 931 2200, jarbour@sexabuseattorneys.com) and Manchester NH attorney John Kenison (jkenison@nhattorney.com, 603 624 6655, 603 325 8138 cell).

SNAP wants New Hampshire’s Catholic church officials to use their websites and parish bulletins to alert their flock that St. Jean spent time in New Hampshire and the allegations against him.

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2010/05_06/2010_05_19_Marchocki_ManSays.htm

2) SNAP is also asking Manchester Bishop John McCormack (in his last few months in office) to do what 24 other bishops have done, and post on his website, for the sake of public safety, the names, whereabouts and priestly status of child molesting clerics who are or have been in the area. Over the past eight years, some two dozen US Catholic prelates have taken this step, which SNAP considers a simple, inexpensive, common sense way to safeguard kids. (In recent weeks bishops in Boston and Springfield MA have committed to do this too.)

According to a Boston-based independent research group called BishopAccoutnabilty.org, there are 91publicly accused Manchester diocesan child molesting clerics. SNAP notes that the actual number of area pedophile priests is likely higher because BishopAccountability.org lists only those clerics against whom allegations have been ‘public’ – in civil lawsuits, criminal prosecution or news accounts.

In 2002, Baltimore became the first US diocese to disclose names. A good current example is the Philadelphia archdiocese: http://archphila.org/protection/Updates/update_main.htm. Here is a list of all the dioceses that have disclosed names: http://www.bishop-accountability.org/AtAGlance/lists.htm

CONTACT - David Clohessy 314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com


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