The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Release
Clergy sex victims leaflet church
Two alleged predator priests worked there
A third was arrested for seeking sex in public
“If you were assaulted, speak up & get help,” group says
It wants Catholic bishop to list all accused clerics on website
It calls on church staff to “aggressively seek out” others who’ve been hurt
The group will also urge the Tampa-St. Pete bishop to
They will also beg anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups to call police, get help, expose wrongdoers, protect others and start healing.
1) According to news accounts and a New York grand jury, Fr. Robert D. Huneke was accused of “relentlessly” abusing at least four boys. Huneke belonged to a religious order called the Marists. He also worked in Georgia and on Long Island. Huneke is now deceased.
2) Dozens of men in the Netherlands have accused Father Jan Sanders, a Dutch Jesuit, of molesting them as boys. Sanders also worked at Christ the King. Weeks ago, Christ the King’s current pastor put an announcement in his parish bulletin about the allegations against Sanders. (SNAP believes Sanders also later worked in a child care center for abandoned and poor vulnerable children in Santiago, Chile.)
3) Msgr. Norman G. Balthazar was charged with soliciting a lewd act from an undercover police officer in 1991. According to one news account, “a Hillsborough County judge threw out the case, ruling the conversation about engaging in a sexual act - did not constitute a crime.” Balthazar retired last year from heading Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Pinellas. He also worked at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Inverness and St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Zephyrhills.
Huneke was at Christ the King from 1979-1982 and Sanders was here in the 1980s. For a three year period, Huneke and Balthazar were both at Christ the King. Huneke died in 2002 and Sanders died in 1996.
SNAP worries that current and former parishioners here (and elsewhere in the Tampa St. Pete diocese) may have been hurt by these clerics. The group wants to offer support to them.
And to help protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded, SNAP wants Bishop Robert Lynch to do what 24 other bishops have done, and post on his website the names, whereabouts and priestly status of child molesting clerics who are or have been in the area. SNAP also wants him to work hard to find and help anyone who may have been hurt by these three priests.
According to a Boston-based independent research group called BishopAccountabilty.org, there are 19 publicly accused Tampa-St. Pete diocesan child molesting clerics. The actual number of Tampa area pedophile priests is likely much higher because BishopAccountability.org lists only those clerics against whom allegations have been lodged in the public domain – in civil lawsuits, criminal prosecution, church suspensions or news accounts.
In 2002, Baltimore became the first US diocese to disclose its predators’ 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 .
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests