The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Saturday, January 16, 2010
Predator is ousted; Cop says dumb thing; abuse victims blast him
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, national director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915 home)
We are glad that another child molesting Chicago Catholic cleric has been tracked down, publicly exposed and ousted from his job yesterday. At the same time, however, we're very upset that a police chief is minimizing the situation.
Late Friday afternoon, Frank Paduch was suspended from his post as a Berwyn city official. (At least five men have accused Paduch of molesting them when he was a Catholic brother/school teacher.)
But Berwyn police chief William Kushner told Berwyn Life that there is "nothing to indicate that (Paduch) has posed a threat to anyone during his employment in Berwyn."
That's a ridiculous and dangerous claim.
It's ridiculous because it's simply too early to tell whether Paduch has molested Berwyn kids. And a policeman, of all people, should know that a serial child predator walking free among unsuspecting families is ALWAYS a threat.
It's dangerous because it leads to an unhealthy complacency. Right now, Berwyn's parents should be asking their kids if Paduch hurt them. Berwyn's police chief should be urging parents to do that. Instead, he minimizes the risk that an accused predator poses to his own community, apparently based on no research or investigation whatsoever.
(Evidently, no one in Berwyn knew of Paduch's past as a credibly accused child molester, so the chief has no basis to say Paduch hasn't been a threat.)
We hope the chief will apologize for his hurtful comments, keep an open mind, and promptly and thoroughly investigate whether Paduch has molested again in the past few years. And we hope his unfortunate remarks won't discourage anyone with information about Paduch's crimes from coming forward and calling law enforcement. Finally, we hope anyone who sees, suspects or suffers Paduch's misdeeds will speak up, get help, protect others and begin healing.
(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)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests