The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Release
Sex Abuse Victims Urge Bishop to do Outreach
Missouri’s Most Notorious Predator Priest Worked Here
Just Last Week, He Was Accused in a Civil Lawsuit for 24th Time
Others Who’ve Been Wounded Should Come Forward, Group Says
And Springfield Prelate Should Post Names of All Child Molesting Clerics
They will also urge Springfield’s Catholic bishop to
in Springfield MO
Though he worked mostly in the KC area, O’Brien was at St. Agnes Cathedral in Springfield from 1951-1954. And though there are no known criminal charges against O’Brien now, SNAP believes he has also molested kids in Springfield and might still face prosecution, especially if Missouri bishops do real outreach to other victims.
Most of the suits against O’Brien have settled out of court. Since 2002, Catholic officials have forbidden him from representing himself as a priest. However, he has not been defrocked so still gets a paycheck from his diocese.
For the sake of public safety, SNAP hopes that O’Brien goes to jail (though he faces no criminal charges right now). The group is urging anyone who saw, suspected or suffered his crimes to step forward, call police, protect others, and get help from independent sources. And SNAP is publicly calling on Springfield Bishop James Vann Johnston to use his resources (parish bulletin, church websites, diocesan newspapers, pulpit announcements, news releases and personal visits) to aggressively seek out people who may have knowledge or suspicions of O’Brien’s crimes.
Now more than ever, SNAP says, others who have been molested should come forward, get help, consider legal action, and contact law enforcement, so that innocent youngsters can be spared lifetimes of suffering.
SNAP also wants Springfield’s Catholic bishop to do what 24 other bishops have done, and post on his website, for the sake of public safety, the names, whereabouts and priestly status of child molesting clerics who are or have been in central Illinois.
According to a Boston-based independent research group called BishopAccoutnabilty.org, there are seven publicly accused Springfield diocesan child molesting clerics. SNAP notes that the actual number of Corpus Christi area pedophile priests is likely much higher because BishopAccountability.org lists only those clerics against whom allegations have been lodge in the public domain – in civil lawsuits, criminal prosecution or news accounts.
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. 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