The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Saturday, December 12, 2009
Diocese paid $40,000 to settle abuse claims against monsignors; SNAP responds
Statement by Peter Isely of Milwaukee, SNAP Midwest Director 414 429 7259
Now, two newspapers reveal that three men report having been molested by two priests and telling church officials about the alleged crimes. Two of the men were each paid $20,000 (with checks signed not by Bishop Curtis or Bishop Egan, but by Bishop Lori himself).
So Lori evidently pays tens of thousands of dollars to people who say they've been abuse but who the bishop deems "not credible." How crazy is that?
And despite three individuals reporting child sex abuse by Msgr. William Genuario, he remains in ministry. And despite two individuals reporting child sex abuse by Msgr. Frank Wissel, he remains in ministry too. Whatever happened to that allegedly tough national "one strike and you're out" policy?
There’s no rational way to square these three simple but troubling facts: men report child sex abuse, they’re paid tens of thousands of dollars, but Lori doesn’t believe them.
What's Lori's magic number? How many accusers or payouts or both does it take before parishioners are warned and alleged predators are ousted?
We fear Lori cynically believes that all the Catholics who might leave because of corruption have already left, and that few current parishioners will walk away because of yet another clear case of recklessness, callousness or deceit. Or maybe he just hopes that in the Christmas rush, most will 'tune out' such depressing news. Whatever his rationale is for maintaining his indefensible actions, it's anything but rational.
Lori brags about the diocese training staff in abuse prevention and conducting background checks on employees. He conveniently neglects to mention that this is a church requirement, initiated only because of decades of horrific clergy sex crimes and cover ups. He may as well brag about obeying the speed limit and paying parking tickets too.
Reform starts at the top. No matter how many sobriety posters a company posts and anti-alcohol seminars a company hosts, if the CEO routinely drinks and drives, and helps colleagues who do likewise, innocent lives will be in jeopardy.
We beg Bishop Lori - suspend these clerics, launch investigations, protect children, stop dissembling, start explaining and honor your promises.
(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 21 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), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Peter Isely (414-429-7259), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests