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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Sex abuse victims “out” another predator priest

He was first publicly exposed last week in Boston

A child sex lawsuit against the cleric has been settled

But he’s still on the job today at a San Antonio college

Group blast Catholic officials for “continued recklessness”

SNAP to Archbishop: “Insist that his supervisors suspend him”

WHAT:
Holding signs at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will disclose the name of another credibly accused local predator priest who is still on the job in San Antonio today.

The victims will also criticize
--Vatican officials for their secrecy and disregard for secular laws and authority,
--local officials with a Catholic religious order who are keeping the predator at a San Antonio college, and
--San Antonio’s former archbishop for keeping silent about the lawsuit against the child molesting cleric.

They will also beg
--current San Antonio area Catholic officials to explain their “recklessness and secrecy,” and
--anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups to call police, get help, expose wrongdoers, protect others and start healing.

WHEN:
TODAY, Wednesday, January 26 at 1:30 PM

WHERE:
Outside the Oblate School of Theology, 285 Oblate Dr, San Antonio, TX

WHO:
2-3 members of support group called SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, SNAPnetwork.org

VISUALS:
The group will provide a photo of the alleged molester and hold signs and children’s photos.

WHY:
Today, for at least the fifth time as many years, SNAP is releasing the name of another credibly accused child molesting San Antonio Catholic cleric. The priest now works as Director of Libraries at Oblate College where he has lived since 1998. But his identity as a molester has never been publicly disclosed in this area before.

Last week at a news conference in Massachusetts, prominent plaintiff’s attorney Mitchell Garabedian (617 523 6250) revealed that Catholic officials have reached a settlement in a child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit against Fr. Donald J. Joyce and his church supervisors. In a 2006 civil lawsuit filed in Massachusetts, Joyce is accused of “repeated explicit, lewd and lascivious behavior” against an 11 year old in 1977 at Sacred Heart Parish in Lowell MA (in the Boston Archdiocese). The amount of the settlement was not disclosed.

Joyce belongs to a Catholic religious order called the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

SNAP is upset with former San Antonio Archbishop Jose Gomez who kept silent about the accusations and lawsuit. His silence, the group believes, violates the US Conference of Catholic Bishops child sex abuse policy (adopted in 2002) that mandates “openness and transparency” in child sex cases. Gomez is now in the Los Angeles and will take full control of that archdiocese next year.

SNAP wants San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller to insist that the Oblates suspend Joyce and aggressively seek out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered Joyce’s crimes.

Joyce was also at Oblate College in Washington DC three times (1959-60, 1983-85, 1988-89 and 1994-98) and spent time at two other DC Catholic institutions - the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate Provincial Residence (1989-1992) and the Oblate Center for Mission Studies (1989-92).

The suit named one Oblate (Fr. George Croft) and two Boston archdiocesan officials (Fr. Joseph P. Smyth and Bishop Thomas V. Daily) as defendants. The victim is Michael Hallberg of Amesbury, MA ().

SNAP is also upset because twice last week, long-secret Vatican letters surfaced telling bishops to hide information about priests’ misdeeds from criminal and civil authorities. The documents contradict long-standing Vatican claims that top church officials don’t order bishops to be secretive about child molesting clerics.

A 1997 letter tells Irish bishops that the Vatican has “serious reservations” about making it mandatory for bishops to report known and suspected child sex crimes to law enforcement. And 1984 letter tells a US bishop that "the files of a bishop concerning his priests are altogether private (and) that no priest's files will be sent to any lawyer or judge whatever.” Both are signed by high-ranking Vatican officials and were never disclosed publicly until this week. Both are posted at BishopAccountability.org (and copies will be available at today’s event).

Even now, despite Pope Benedict’s apologies and promises, “current Vatican policy, updated last year, offers merely a nonbinding advisory — not a firm mandate — that diocesan officials should report crimes to police” (according to the New York Times). SNAP wants San Antonio’s bishop to push Vatican officials to change this.

Last August, SNAP publicly disclosed that between 1949-1992, Fr. Thomas Behnke worked at seven churches in the San Antonio archdiocese and that a $4.65 million settlement was made with six of his victims. In 2009, SNAP revealed that Fr. Charles H. Miller (who had recently worked in San Antonio) was “credibly accused” of “sexual misconduct” against a local teen in 1980. Also in 2009, SNAP publicly disclosed that Br. Richard A. Suttle was living in a San Antonio parish despite having been suspended for allegedly molesting a child in the 1980s

In 2008, SNAP disclosed that three former San Antonio priests are believed to have moved to foreign countries after having been credibly accused of molesting kids here (Michael Kenney, believed to be in Ireland, Jose Luis Sandoval, believed to be in Mexico, and Alfredo Prado, believed to be in Costa Rica).

In each of these cases, it was SNAP leaders, not church officials, who alerted the public to these predators.

CONTACT – Barbara Garcia Boehland 210-621-2177, Cell 210-725-8329, David Clohessy 314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris 314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com


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