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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Victims & advocates want Worcester bishop to “come clean”

Two MA Catholic bishops have promised to release predators’ names

For "public safety & education," groups urge local prelate to do likewise

Worcester is only New England diocese to be “totally secretive” about defrocking

Church officials should prod Vatican to permanently oust “dangerous clerics”

WHAT:
Holding signs and childhood photos at sidewalk news conferences, clergy sex abuse victims and supporters will urge Worcester’s bishop, for the sake of public safety, to
--disclose all child molesting clergy who have worked and lived in the area,
-- permanently post those names on his diocesan website, and
-- lean hard on Vatican officials to start defrocking Worcester predator priests, starting with Fr. Thomas Teczar, who was convicted last year of molesting kids and sentenced to 50 years in prison.

The group will also prod anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes in the Worcester area to speak up, call police, get help, protect others, expose offenders, and start healing.

WHEN:
TODAY, Thursday, Nov. 11 @ 2:45 P.M.

WHERE:
Outside the Catholic Diocese HQ (chancery), 49 Elm Street in Worcester MA

WHO:
Members of two groups – a Waltham-based research group called BishopAccountability.org and a Chicago-based SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org) - and at least one Worcester clergy sex abuse victim

WHY:
BishopAccountability.org and SNAP have urged Worcester Bishop Robert McManus to disclose and post on his diocesan website the names, work histories and whereabouts of all proven, admitted and credibly accused current and former Worcester child molesting clerics. McManus has not responded.

So the two groups are now urging him to at least begin defrocking these clerics. As best as the organizations can determine, Worcester is the only New England diocese that hasn’t announced that even one of its predator priests has been defrocked.

According to BishopAccountability.org, 325 US predator priests are known to have been defrocked (or laicized); 40 assigned to lives of prayer and penance; and 65 permanently removed from ministry. But none of these 430 disciplined priests is from Worcester. (If the diocese has made such a disclosure, the announcement was inexcusably obscure).

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/AtAGlance/data.htm#laicizations

In a 2004 deposition, former Worcester Bishop Daniel Reilly admitted that not one accused Worcester priest had been laicized – an unusual situation given that dozens of diocesan priest have long been known to be child molesters.

This summer, Pope Benedict promised that the Catholic hierarchy would “do everything possible” to prevent future abuse. In light of that pledge, victims and advocates are urging Massachusetts bishops to follow the lead of 24 US bishops and quickly disclose the names of child molesting clerics who have lived or worked in their dioceses. Bishops in Boston and Springfield have both said they will release such lists.

According to BishopAccountability.org, there are 39 accused Worcester predator priests. (The actual number of alleged offenders is likely significantly higher, because BA.org lists only those clerics against whom allegations have been lodged in the public domain – in civil lawsuits, criminal prosecution or news accounts.) Some are deceased, a few are behind bars, but most walk free and live in unsuspecting communities where the groups fear they may still have access to children.

(Here are the numbers of publicly accused clerics in the other three Massachusetts Catholic dioceses: Boston-205, Springfield-47, and Fall River-30.)

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.)

According to a Worcester Telegram-Gazette article “A report compiled for the bishops shows more than 45 Worcester priests were accused of misconduct since 1950.”

CONTACT:
Anne Barrett Doyle, BishopAccountability.org, 781 439 5208, David Clohessy SNAP, 314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com


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