The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Serial predator priest is finally defrocked; SNAP responds
Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, national president of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747)
We hope this belated and begrudging step brings some comfort to the boys who were sexually violated by this cunning predator. Sadly, however, Fushek still walks free and may in fact be molesting kids even now.
Phoenix Catholic officials must do more to protect children from him. Fushek still faces criminal charges, so it’s crucial that anyone who saw, suspected or suffered his crimes call police immediately. Church figures can help make this happen, by using their diocesan newspaper and website, and dozens of parish bulletins and websites, to beg victims and witnesses to step forward.
Unfortunately, a change of job titles doesn’t ‘cure’ a sex offender. Youngsters will only be safe from Fushek when he is convicted. And that will likely only happen if Phoenix’s bishop finds the courage to aggressively seek out others who were abused by Fushek.
The Vatican doesn't permanently oust innocent priests. This action should remove any doubt from anyone's mind about Fushek's child sex crimes.
This is a long-overdue, bare-minimum first step. Much more needs to happen if this shrewd child molester is ever to be imprisoned.
(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 22 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 Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell)
Former Catholic Monsignor defrocked
Associated Press - February 16, 2010 3:24 PM ET
PHOENIX (AP) - The Phoenix Catholic Diocese announced Tuesday that former Monsignor Dale Fushek has been defrocked, meaning the church has removed Fushek from his right to exercise the functions of the priesthood.
The Diocese said the Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted received a "Decree of Dismissal" from the Vatican in which the Bishop was notified that the penalty of dismissal has been imposed on Fushek.
The Diocese said the penalty was imposed by order of Pope Benedict and the decision is not open to appeal.
Fushek was once the second-highest ranking priest in the Phoenix Diocese. He is charged with one count each of assault and indecent exposure, and five counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Prosecutors say Fushek committed the offenses while serving as pastor of St. Timothy's Catholic Church in Mesa.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests