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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Thursday, September 16, 2010

New Seattle bishop announced; Sex abuse victims respond

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915 home)

On the same day, the Pope claims the church’s “top priority” is to help victims heal but he promotes yet another callous bishop who conceals clergy sex crimes against children.

Just a few months ago, our group “outed” two predator priests in Bishop Sartain’s Joliet diocese. He knew of the allegations for at least five months but kept kids at risk by staying silent.

Sartain violated the official US bishops abuse policy which mandates that credibly accused predator priests be suspended promptly.

A brave victim reported the crimes to Sartain’s top staffers in January 2010. Five months later, however, neither Sartain nor his staff took action against the two predator priests. The worried and frustrated victim contacted us and we disclosed the allegations. Finally, Sartain temporarily suspended the child molesting clerics.

Weeks ago, a Joliet chancery office staffer told that victim, privately, that one of the clerics would never be restored to ministry. But even now, Sartain chooses secrecy, refusing to disclose his decision publicly, leaving parishioners in the dark about whether or not this priest is a pedophile.

Sartain has done a terrible job on abuse and cover up in Joliet. His promotion shows, once again, that bishops who ignore or conceal child sex crimes keep getting rewarded, not punished.

(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. 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, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, peterisely@yahoo.com), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)

Joliet Diocese Investigating Abuse Claim-By Bob Okon-Herald News-June 8, 2010
http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/heraldnews/news/2365954,4_1_JO08_PRIESTS_S1-100608.article

JOLIET -- The diocese continues to investigate sexual allegations made against two priests by a former student who attended both Providence Catholic School and Joliet Catholic High School.

The incidents would have occurred more than 30 years ago, when the alleged victim was a student.

No lawsuit or criminal charges have been filed. The Herald-News has chosen not to publish the priests' names because no legal actions have been taken against them. The alleged victim has not been identified.

The incident became public when the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests held a news conference May 28 urging the Diocese of Joliet to take a more aggressive and public stance in the investigation.

The diocese later that day announced that both priests, who were pastors in Joliet Diocese parishes outside the Joliet area, had been removed from their ministries earlier in the week. During Masses the following Saturday and Sunday, parishioners in the two affected parishes were told of their pastors' removal and reasons why, diocese spokesman Doug Delaney said Monday.

Bishop J. Peter Sartain visited one parish personally both days to speak to the parishioners, Delaney said. The Carmelite provincial spoke to parishioners at the other parish because the pastor there served under the direction of the Carmelite province, Delaney said.

"Both priests have been removed and are not able to be priests anymore," Delaney said. However, the investigation will determine their future, he said.

"One of the things we're very careful about is making this information public until we finish our investigation," Delaney said.

SNAP has urged the diocese to publicize the priests' names and turn the investigation over to police.

"They could be taking proactive steps that might result in the prosecution of these people," said Barbara Blaine, president of SNAP.

According to SNAP, the alleged victim was a student at Providence when a priest on staff there abused him over several years in hotels, at a rectory, and on trips out of state.

Providence Catholic High School has sent a letter to parents discussing the situation, Delaney said.

The allegation involving the priest from Joliet Catholic High School, now Joliet Catholic Academy, involved one incident, according to SNAP.

Contact: bokon@stmedianetwork.com


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
www.snapnetwork.org