The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statements

Statement Regarding NY Priest
Left in Ministry

For More Information:
David Clohessy, St. Louis, National Director (314) 566 9790 cell
David Cerulli, Board Member, 917-757-1791 cell


Staten Island Pastor, Msgr. Thomas Gaffney, Left in Ministry in Violation of Charter

Statement By David Cerulli, Director of SNAP New York City

"It is distressing to learn that a priest with credible allegations of the sexual abuse of a minor is being left in ministry in direct violation of the Charter passed by Catholic Bishops in June 2002. Allowing Msgr. Gaffney to continue to wear his priestly attire after formal charges have been lodged against him only serves to needlessly place children at risk.

According to the attorney for the victim, a second person has come forward with credible allegations of sexual abuse by Gaffney while he served at a different school. We applaud the courage of these victims to overcome the many obstacles to speaking out about their abuse. This is the only way the truth will be known and that children will be protected. The Archdiocese of New York now needs to do the right thing, follow the spirit of the Charter, remove Msgr. Gaffney from all contact with children and inform him that he is no longer allowed to present himself as a priest. Only in this way can children be protected.

The excuse given by the Archdiocese of New York, that the victim has not presented his testimony in person, is not a requirement of the Charter. A sworn statement, which has already been presented to the Archdiocese, is sufficient. The most accurate reason why Gaffney needs to be removed from ministry was stated by the mother of the victim in a recent news account, “This man has robbed my son's soul." she said, "and robbed his youth.” We need to insure that other children don’t suffer the same fate."




Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests