The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Thursday, May 7, 2009
Ex Hoosier priest defrocked; Bishop must still protect others, SNAP says
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell)
(The Vatican has defrocked Fr. Edward Paquette who worked in Ft. Wayne, South Bend, Elkhart, Michigan City, and Decatur in the 1960s & 1970s, and is accused of molesting boys in almost all of them.)
This belated, begrudging and long-overdue step may make some victims and Catholics feel better. But it changes nothing about the corrupt church hierarchy which operates in essentially the same destructive and self-destructive way it has always dealt with child sexual abuse.
Catholic officials can't have their cake and eat it too. It's wrong for them to recruit, educate, ordain, hire, train, supervise and protect a predator priest, then oust him and do little or nothing to protect others from him. The church hierarchy - in Indiana, Vermont and Massachusetts - has a moral obligation to
In the church's on-going Catholic sex abuse and cover up scandal, it's important to remember that Paquette is NOT the core issue. (There always have been and always will be pedophiles in every institution.) It's the secrecy, duplicity, recklessness and callousness of Catholic officials - dozens of them in Indiana, Vermont, and Massachusetts - who knew of or suspected Paquette's devastating crimes and choose, time and time again, to ignore or conceal those crimes.
The decades-overdue defrocking of this dangerous predator does little to protect the vulnerable or heal the wounded. And it does nothing to absolve Catholic officials of their responsibility to do more to prevent future child sex crimes and help those already wounded and still suffering.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the nation’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 20 years and have more than 9,000 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 Blaine (312-399-4747), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688)
Vatican Defrocks Paquette
Vatican City - May 6, 2009
The former priest at the center of a church sex abuse scandal in Vermont has been officially defrocked by the Vatican.
Edward Paquette is accused of molesting numerous boys during the 1960s and 70s. The molestations have prompted several lawsuits against the Burlington Diocese, including one where the victim was awarded more than $8.5 million dollars.
Paquette was a priest in Indiana who came to Vermont to practice. He was forced out of the ministry about 30 years ago after continued allegations of abuse. Two years ago, the church in Burlington urged the Indiana diocese to push for Paquette to be removed from his clerical state, which the Vatican has now approved.
"For the last thirty years he has not functioned as a priest, celebrated publicly, he hasn't presented himself as a priest, so really he's been living as a layman and this decree, this process, brings the canonical reality into conformity with how he's been living his life," Monsignor John McDermott said. "It was one piece that was open that is now closed."
The Bishop in Indiana will determine whether Paquette will continue to receive his pension. He has not received any financial support from Burlington in 30 years.
Edward Paquette, who is in his early 80s, is currently living in Massachusetts.
Darren Perron - WCAX News
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests