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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Monday, April 26, 2010
Priest convicted of child sex abuse volunteered in Dutch church; SNAP responds
Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, CA, SNAP Western Regional Director (949) 322-7434 cell
After a conviction and prison sentence, a now-defrocked, notorious predator priest (who assaulted boys, girls and at least one infant), has re-surfaced helping at a Rotterdam Catholic church under another name.
Dutch Catholic officials should be severely disciplined for failing to do even the most simple background check on this dangerous predator.
It's irresponsible for Catholic officials to recruit, educate, ordain, hire, train, transfer and shield predators, then 'cut them loose' when the heat gets too intense, letting them walk free and molest again. Church hierarchy must, at an absolute bare minimum, promptly take three steps. First, it must do everything possible to make sure that pedophile priests, nuns, brothers, bishops and seminarians get prosecuted effectively and imprisoned for as long as possible. (This means voluntarily turning over to law enforcement all files relating to accused predators and aggressively using church websites, pulpit announcements, diocesan newspapers, and parish bulletins to beg victims and witnesses to call law enforcement when accusations against a cleric surface.) Second, the hierarchy must create and maintain an easy-to-use international, on-line directory of proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics so that this doesn’t keep happening again and again and again. Third, church employees who recklessly let proven predators back around kids must be fired, so that other church employees get the message that endangering kids means you'll lose your job.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world'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 globe. 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)
Contacts: David Clohessy (314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915 home), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Mark Serrano (703-727-4940), Peter Isely (414-429-7259), Barbara Dorris (314 503 0003)
Priest convicted of child sex abuse volunteered in Dutch church
Published on : 26 April 2010 - 10:08am | By RNW News Desk
An Irish priest who was convicted for sex offences against children has been working as a volunteer at a church near the Dutch port city of Rotterdam. The priest, Oliver O'Grady, who was defrocked after his conviction, was helping as a deacon at Masses at the English-speaking Church of the Holy Heart, Christ our Redeemer. He also volunteered at a women's refuge centre.
Found guilty of sexually abusing two brothers, Mr O'Grady spent seven years in a prison in the US, after which he was deported to Ireland. He was also accused of having abused over 20 boys and girls, including a baby.
The church in Schiedam is serving the expatriate community in Rotterdam. A priest at the Roman Catholic church told the press that he did not know about O'Grady's background. Local parishioners told reporters that they were shocked when O'Grady's past history was revealed in a church announcement last week. The ex-priest was using the alias "Brother Francis", and his true identity was only discovered when Dutch TV aired a documentary entitled "Deliver us from evil" earlier this month.
'No contact with children'
A spokesperson for the church in Schiedam told Radio Netherlands Worldwide that the man was there from 2008 until February 2010.
"The man came to our parish, came to the services and helped out with the music. He kept to himself. He was in no way in contact with children nor did he seek contact with them. He did work with nuns at a shelter for the homeless, but all he did was help feed people. He just wanted to go to church."
Father Avin Kunnekkadan, one of the rotating priests who does services for the community, says "He was not a priest here and probably did not present himself as a priest when he came."
The ex-priest had already left the Schiedam church when the news broke. He is said to live in a hostel in Dublin. Several of his American victims are taking action against O'Grady.
The discovery of the ex-priest's past follows a series of revelations over the past weeks by Radio Netherlands Worldwide and NRC Handelsblad about child sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests and nuns at boarding schools and care homes.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests