SNAP responds: Cleveland priest removed
The Diocese of Cleveland has posted on its web that Fr Mathew Ischay has been placed on leave as the result of a court complaint alleging that misconduct with a minor occurred in the late 1970’s.Ischay was located at St. Paul Parish in Akron, and several other parishes before that.
We urge anyone who has knowledge or has been harmed by Ischay to please contact the police, do not report your abuse to the diocese church leaders, they are not the proper officials to be investigating crimes against children, no matter how long ago your abuse happened.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 13,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is www.SNAPnetwork.org )
Contact: David Clohessy, SNAP Director, (314-566-9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
Notice of priest placed on administrative leave
The Reverend Mathew Ischay, 62, a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, has been placed on administrative leave as the result of a court complaint alleging that misconduct with a minor occurred in the late 1970’s.
Father Ischay is a Parochial Vicar at St. Paul Parish in Akron. Previously, he served as pastor of Blessed Sacrament parish from October of 1987 until it closed in April of 2010. While on administrative leave, Father Ischay will not be permitted to engage in any form of priestly ministry, wear clerical attire, or reside on parish property.
The allegation of molestation came to light recently, as the result of a civil suit filed in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas court. In accordance with Diocesan policy, once the matter became known, it was reported to the appropriate civil authorities and to the independent Diocesan Review Board.
The Review Board recommended that it would be prudent to place Fr. Ischay on administrative leave while it monitors an investigation to discover whether the reported molestation has at least a semblance of truth or is credible. The Board emphasized that its recommendation is not based upon any determination for or against the veracity of the complaint; at this time no such determination has been made.
The Diocese of Cleveland continues to be wholly committed to protecting children and helping to heal victims of abuse. We are deeply sorry for the pain suffered by survivors of abuse due to actions of some members of the clergy, as nothing is more important than protecting children.
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.