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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Clergy sex abuse group discloses lawsuit

It’s still pending & involves two wounded boys

One defendant, northern NJ diocese, has already settled

But case vs. New York-based religious order is still unresolved

Self help group wants Catholic officials to post names of pedophile priests

WHAT: Holding signs and childhood photos at two sidewalk news conferences, clergy sex abuse victims and supporters will disclose, for the first time, a civil child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit. It involves an alleged child molesting cleric who has never been publicly accused before. The victims will also urge Catholic officials in NJ and NY to

--disclose whether there are other lawsuits – pending, settled or tossed out – against priests who’ve worked or work in northern NJ, and
-- post on church websites the names, photos, whereabouts and work histories of all predator priests.

DATE: Monday, March 28

WHEN/WHERE: At 11:00 a.m. – Outside the Holy Name Provincial Office, 129 W. 31st St. in Manhattan (646) 473-0265

At1:30 p.m. - Outside the Paterson Catholic diocesan chancery office, 777 Valley Road, (near corner of Rt. 3 & Rt. 46) in Clifton, NJ

WHO: Two- four child sex abuse victims who belong to a support group called SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (including a Chicago woman who is the organization’s president and founder)

WHY: A civil child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit, filed in Oct 2009 was settled by the Paterson NJ Catholic diocese. But a second defendant in the case, a New York-based religious order called Franciscans of the Holy Name Province, remains unresolved.

Both Catholic entities have kept silent about the suit and the alleged child molesting cleric, Fr. Donatus Walsh.

The suit was filed in Paterson, NJ at Passaic Superior Court, Passaic County in Oct 2009 and seeks unspecified damages. It charges that in the late 1960s, Walsh repeatedly molested two grade school boys at St Catherine School, in Ringwood, NJ.

Walsh worked twice at Catholic parishes in New York City and in the following New Jersey cities: Ringwood, Rochelle Park, Pompton Lakes, Little Falls, and Paterson. He also spent time at St. Bonaventure’s Monastery and as chaplain of the Preakness Hospitals. Walsh passed away in 1988.

Roughly 24 other US bishops have posted on their websites the names, and priestly status of child molesting clerics who are or have been in their dioceses. For the safety of children, Paterson’s bishop and the religious order should do likewise.

According to a Boston-based independent research group called BishopAccountabilty.org, there are 25 publicly accused Paterson diocesan child molesting clerics.

SNAP notes that the actual number of Paterson area pedophile priests is likely much higher because only those clerics against whom allegations have been lodged in the public domain – in civil lawsuits, criminal prosecution or news accounts are listed at BishopAccountability.org.

In 2002, Baltimore became the first US diocese to disclose names. A more recent 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

The victims are represented by Phillipsburg, NJ attorney Greg Gianforcaro (908-859-2200). The Franciscans are represented by attorney Anthony Dougherty.

SNAP is the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. Founded in 1988, it is based in Chicago and has more than 10,000 members across the globe. Its mission is to heal the wounded and protect the vulnerable.

CONTACT
Barbara Blaine 312-399-4747, David Clohessy 314-566-9790, Mary Caplan 917 439 4187, Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003)


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