The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Accused priest formally defrocked; Sex abuse victims respond
Statement by Barbara Dorris, SNAP Outreach Director, 314 862 7688 home
Fifteen years after being removed from ministry for molesting boys, church officials have finally defrocked this dangerous predator.
Cardinal George's responsibility doesn't end here. Catholic officials can't recruit, educate, ordain, hire, transfer and shield predator priests, then when the heat gets too intense, deny any responsibility for them. It's crucial that George use his considerable resources to aggressively reach out to others who were hurt by Calicott and warn others who could still be hurt by Calicott.
We hope this move will prod and inspire others who have been hurt by clergy to call police, protect others and start healing.
When victims, whistleblowers and witnesses speak up, predators are exposed and children are protected. But when victims, whistleblowers and witnesses stay silent, predators walk free and kids are assaulted.
(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 since 1988 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 home, 314 503 0003)
Oct 26, 2009 9:19 pm US/Central
Accused Priest Formally Defrocked
Once-Popular Father At Holy Angels Was Accused Of Molesting Boys
Jay Levine -CHICAGO (CBS) ―
It's is a bittersweet victory for alleged victims of sexual abuse by a Chicago priest.
The Vatican has now formally removed Father John Calicott from the priesthood. Those victims first came to CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine with their story more than five years ago.
It was the priest's denials that drove the victims to despair.
The last time Dave Lasley came to Holy Angels, he was asked to leave by parishioners who supported their former pastor John Calicott's campaign for reinstatement, despite the U.S. bishops' new zero-tolerance policy.
"One guy literally threatened, 'You either leave, or I'm gonna throw you out,'" Lasley said.
Monday, he was embraced by the new pastor, Father John Atoyebi, who hadn't heard that Rome has now severed all ties to Calicott. Calicott said in an interview five years ago that he had gone "to great lengths to show I am not a risk."
Lasley disagrees. He previously recounted how Calicott abused him when he was 11.
"I was assigned to his tent and I was sleeping next to him, only to be awokened in the middle of the night with him performing oral sex on me," Lasley said.
During his fight for reinstatement, Calicott and others who escaped prosecution were sent to a retreat house on the grounds of the Mundelein Seminary.
But their numbers are shrinking. According to the archdiocese of Chicago website, Calicott becomes the sixth Chicago priest laicized, or booted, in less than two years.
The quickened pace of enforcement some say is the result of a new Pope and new American Cardinal calling the shots.
But it's still not quick enough for Dave Lasley.
"There's still peopleout there suffering because of what they did, and there's still hierarchy in the Archdiocese that still haven't been held accounted for, for their actions, for their inaction, for their silence," he said.
He says he'll be thinking about the victims as he says his own prayers tonight.
"I'm gonna be thankful I even made it today," Lasley said. "You know, there's a lot of victims that don't make it to this day."
CBS 2 was unable to reach Calicott for comment. The Archdiocese of Chicago confirms that he is officially no longer a priest.
(© MMIX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests