The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Thursday, March 19, 2009
Ohio priest reinstated after '05 arrest; SNAP responds
Statement by Christy Miller, SNAP Cincinnati Co-Leader 513-383-2198
We are saddened and puzzled to learn of Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyks latest decision. By allowing Fr. Clarence Heis to return to active ministry he places him in a position of trust and respect granted to members of the clergy. Heis forfeited this right when he was arrested for public indecency and resisting arrest in a public park.
While we hope therapy has helped Heis we feel it is incredibly reckless of Pilarczyk to return him to ministry. SNAP has noticed that some clerics who were removed from ministry since 2002 for sexual abuse have already reoffended. Why take the risk? The safety of the innocent and the vulnerable should be an archbishops highest priority.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the nations oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. Weve been around for 20 years and have more than 8,000 members across the country. 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 SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, 314-645-5915 home), Peter Isely (414-429-7259) Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Dan Frondorf (513-706-7403 or 513-251-2831
Ohio priest reinstated after '05 arrest
CINCINNATI: A priest has returned to the Roman Catholic ministry more than three years after his arrest in a southwest Ohio park.
The Rev. Clarence Heis was put on administrative leave after his arrest on suspicion of public indecency and resisting arrest in a Fairborn park in 2005. He subsequently pleaded no contest to charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest and was sentenced to.
Before his arrest, he was pastor for St. Michael Church in Mechanicsburg and Immaculate Conception in North Lewisburg. While on leave, he has not been allowed to present himself as a priest.
The Cincinnati archdiocese said Thursday that Heis will live in Cincinnati and celebrate the sacraments as needed. The archdiocese says the 55-year-old priest has received counseling and has completed his probation.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests