The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Release
Sex abuse victims blast NY archbishop
He “quietly and deceptively” lets serial pedophile resign
Harlem pastor gets to step aside instead of being ousted
At least ten men accuse prominent cleric of molesting them
Still, Dolan lets alleged predator write “self-pitying” letter to parish
Deceit leaves some parishioners in doubt and kids at risk, group says
SNAP: “This is one of the most troubling cases we’ve seen in last 8 years”
Then they will try to hand deliver a letter to the archbishop insisting that he
The victims are also asking all New York area Catholic parishioners to
But Harris is an accused pedophile priest who was temporarily suspended in 2008 and who faces at least ten men who report having been sexually abused by him as children.
Harris is also Governor David Patterson’s pastor. In 2008, he coordinated Pope Benedict's Sunday afternoon Mass at Yankee Stadium. For years he has headed St. Charles Borromeo parish (where the abuse took place).
Last week, SNAP disclosed Dolan’s quiet move, calling it “reckless, deceptive and hurtful” and “one of the most troubling clergy sex cases anywhere in the last decade.”
SNAP also made public two deceptive letters – from Dolan and Harris - to church-goers at St. Charles Borromeo. One was by Dolan. The other was from the pedophile priest, Msgr. Wallace A. Harris. Neither letter mentioned the words “child sex abuse allegation,” much less acknowledged that at least ten men have come forward reporting that Harris sexually assaulted them in the 1970s and 1980s.
SNAP contends that Dolan should have clearly, publicly and permanently ousted Harris months ago. Instead, Dolan “kept silent, leaving parishioners in doubt, victims in pain, and kids at risk,” the group maintains. The group also believes that Dolan’s refusal to “tell the truth” about the allegations will cause some Catholics to consider Harris innocent and trust their kids around him, which may lead to more child sex crimes.
Several of the ten accusers have reported to police and prosecutors about Harris’ crimes. None have filed civil lawsuits. The first man to reveal having been violated by Harris is a former police officer, Eric Crumbley. Crumbley is now a minister and he disclosed his name when he stepped forward. These facts, SNAP maintains, speak to the victims’ credibility and motives.
Harris is the second predator priest to have worked recently at St. Charles Borromeo. In 2003, Fr. Francis Xavier Nelson was convicted of molesting a 12 year old girl in Brooklyn.
According to the New York Times, “church officials supervising (Nelson) had been aware of the allegations in 1999 and considered them credible, but he was allowed to transfer from Brooklyn to the Archdiocese of New York.”
According to BishopAccountability.org, Nelson “has since returned to his church in India, where he works in the bishop's office.”
Copies of the letters from Dolan and Harris sent to the Harlem parish are available here:
A copy of SNAP’s letter to Dolan is available upon request.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests