The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Release
Abuse Victims Warn Bishop: Keep Problem Priest Out of Parishes
He Was Accused Of "Using Force" With Kids
Other Complaints Have Been Filed in California and Arizona
Earlier This Year, He Was Booted From Air Force Base
Now, He Has Transferred To Phoenix Diocese
Please Allow Cleric To Remain Retired And Away From Vulnerable Kids, SNAP Pleads
In a letter sent today to Phoenix Bishop Thomas J. Olmstead, leaders of a support group called Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org) expressed concern about Fr. Charles Schultz who was recently transferred to the area from Upland CA, after being removed from Luke Air Force Base. It is believed that Schultz is in Phoenix, where he is listed on the diocese website as a retired priest.
SNAP’s letter asks that Olmstead:
In 2009, while a priest in the California Diocese of San Bernardino, Charles Schultz was accused in police reports and press accounts of "using force" against teens.
In addition to police reports filed in those cases, at least five complaints were filed by adults in his parish for verbal abuse and creating a hostile work environment. In news accounts, parishioners called the priest a "bully." http://azpriestdump.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/upland-parishioners-losing-faith-in-church-leadership-san-bernardino-county-sun.pdf. Other reports claim that Schultz repeatedly yanked childrens' arms and forced them to pray.
San Bernardino Bishop Gerald Barnes eventually put the priest on sick leave and promised parishioners that Schultz had retired and would not be working with parishes and families. http://www.contracostatimes.com/california/ci_14788462
Less than a year later, SNAP received a phone call from Catholics at Luke Air Force Base in Phoenix. Schultz was a chaplain on the base and at least one more complaint had been filed against the priest for his behavior. In response, SNAP wrote letters to base command, as well as the entire chain of command up to the Pentagon, informing them of Schultz's past and the numerous complaints against him. They asked for his removal. Schultz was fired soon after. http://www.azcentral.com/community/glendale/articles/2010/04/07/20100407-luke-air-force-base-chaplain.html
Recently, Schultz was transferred to the Diocese of Phoenix, where he is listed as a "retired" priest. Because this is not the first time that the public has been told that Schultz retired, only to learn later that he was working with families, SNAP is taking the proactive step of warning Olmstead and urging him to do the right thing for the children of Arizona.
"This problem will no ‘go away’ unless Schultz faces the same fate as any of us would if we threatened people on the job," SNAP’s letter states, "He needs to be fired, stay retired, and live far from families and vulnerable Catholics."
"The last thing I want to learn is that Schultz has ended up in another parish or on another military base where he has the potential to hurt others again," said Joelle Casteix, SNAP Western Regional Director. "We are asking Olmstead to do the easiest thing possible: Let Schultz live the rest of his life in retirement in a community of priests, far from children and families."
The letter, sent by fax and email (and copied to the Luke AFB Base Command), is below.
Barb Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP Outreach Director, 314-503-0003 cell
David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP National Director, 314-566-9790 cell
September 8, 2010
SNAP, The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
Bishop Thomas J. Olmstead
Dear Bishop Olmstead;
We are members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (www.snapnetwork.org), and we are writing to day to urge you to take strong action in the case of a problematic priest who has just transferred to your diocese.
Fr. Charles Schultz, who is listed on the Diocese of Phoenix website as a retired priest, has a long history of complaints against him in two states. http://www.contracostatimes.com/california/ci_14788462 The complaints range from "using force" with children (including yanking their arms hard enough to cause bruising in order to force them to pray) to creating a hostile work environment. There are also complaints against the priest in his last position as a chaplain at Luke Air Force Base. As you know, he has been removed from that position and military authorities (all the way to the Pentagon) have been informed. http://www.azcentral.com/community/glendale/articles/2010/04/07/20100407-luke-air-force-base-chaplain.html
We believe that Fr. Schultz may be a time bomb. Fortunately, you have the power to make sure that he never is allowed the opportunity to hurt another child or community. That is why we are asking that you to take the following easy steps:
- ensure that Schultz remain retired,
Men who use force with children do not stop "cold turkey." We also know that there are undisclosed complaints against the cleric - so we are not sure what other acts he has been accused of. In light of this, we urge you to err on the side of caution and allow Schultz to remain retired in a community of priests where he cannot pose a threat to vulnerable populations. The potential for harm is far too great if you do nothing.
There is a large community of concerned Catholics who are closely watching this case. Many of the parishioners in Upland are still terribly upset that Schultz is allowed to be a priest at all. Many of the Catholics on Luke Air Force Base live in fear that Schultz will somehow be allowed to return. This problem will no "go away" unless Schultz faces the same fate as any of us would if we threatened people on the job. He needs to be fired, stay retired, and live far from families and vulnerable Catholics.
cc: Brigadier General Kurt F. Neubauer, Commander, Luke AFB
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests