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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Friday, June 11, 2010
Milwaukee bishop promoted to La Cross bishop; SNAP responds
Statement by John Pilmaier, SNAP Wisconsin Co –Director, 414-336-8575
A Milwaukee auxiliary bishop, William Callahan has been picked to head the La Crosse diocese.
Despite repeated pleas from victims, Callahan did nothing to identify and remove from ministry dozens of religious order sex offenders from the Milwaukee archdiocese. This is particularly alarming since the problem Listecki left in La Crosse is still there- the highest rate of leaving reported sex offender priests in ministry than all other dioceses in the United States.
Statement by David Clohessy, SNAP Executive Director, 314-566-9790
On the same day that he pledges to “do everything possible” to prevent child sex crimes, it’s sad and ironic that the Pope a promotes a Milwaukee bishop who has been part of the problem, not the solution, in two particularly troubling dioceses - Milwaukee and Peoria – each with a long history of recklessness and callousness regarding children’s safety. We see no evidence that in either place, he has deviated from the norm of clerical secrecy about predator priests.
His defenders will claim that he’s never been in charge and that the crimes and cover ups in Peoria and Milwaukee weren’t and aren’t his responsibility. We wholeheartedly disagree. Every employee has a duty to protect kids, especially if one’s supervisors are not, and to speak up loudly and clearly when irresponsible actions happen, regardless of whether it’s by a predator priest or a complicit bishop.
As long as the Pope keeps elevating men who ignore or conceal known and suspected child sex crimes, such crimes will keep being ignored and concealed. As long as the Pope continues to ignore wrong-doing, wrong-doing will continue.
We’d feel much more reassured if La Crosse’s new bishop was a parish priest, not a chancery office insider like Callahan.
(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)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests