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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Monday, September 27, 2010

Allentown Diocese removes two priests on sex abuse allegations; SNAP responds

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, president of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com)

We applaud these brave individuals who found the strength to disclose their suffering. We hope they realize that their courage is safeguarding kids. And we hope that the removal of these clerics will help these victims feel some sense of relief and closure.

It’s worrisome that church officials refuse to say how long ago these victims reported their abuse. We suspect it has taken months for the church hierarchy to act and call on the bishop to be more forthcoming about these allegations.

We hope others who saw, suspected or suffered crimes by either of these clerics will speak up, get help, call police, protect kids and start healing. When victims, whistleblowers and witnesses come forward, there’s at least a chance for healing, justice and prevention. But when victims, whistleblowers and witnesses stay silent, nothing changes, predators walk free and kids get hurt.

(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 10,000 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)

Allentown Diocese removes two priests on sex abuse allegations

By Scott Kraus, OF THE MORNING CALL - Story posted 2010.09.26 at 04:33 PM EDT

The Diocese of Allentown has removed two priests from ministry activities after determining that both face credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor dating back more than two decades.

In an official statement, the Diocese announced that it had removed the following two men from ministry:

Father Andrew A. Ulincy, 74, who had been pastor at St. Paul Church in Reading since 1997. Ulincy's other assignments included stints at Marian High School, Tamaqua; St. Joseph Church, Jim Thorpe; Assumption B.V.M. Church, Mahanoy City; SS. Simon and Jude Church, Bethlehem; St. Michael Church, Lansford; St. Joseph Church, Frackville; and Holy Rosary Church, Reading. The Diocesan Review Board found credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor from 1981.

Monsignor Bernard Flanagan, 54, who had been pastor at Annunciation, St. George and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Churches in Shenandoah and St. Mary Magdalen Church, Lost Creek since 2006. Flanagan was ordained in 1982. In 28 years as a priest he has served at SS. Peter and Paul Church, Lehighton; St. Anne Church, Bethlehem; Reading Central Catholic High School; St. Jerome Church, Tamaqua; Nativity BVM High School, Pottsville; Mary Queen of Peace Church, Pottsville; and Our Lady Help of Christians Church, Allentown; before being assigned to Shenandoah. During his years in education, he was in residence at St. Paul Church and St. Catharine of Siena Church, Reading and St. Mary Church, St. Clair. The Diocesan Review Board found credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor dating back approximately 25 years.

In accordance with Diocesan policy, the allegations have been reported to law enforcement officials. Both will attend a treatment facility outside the diocese and be prohibited from functioning publicly as priests.

Story posted 2010.09.26 at 04:33 PM EDT

Allentown Diocese removes 2 priests amid allegations of sexual abuse of minors

By Amanda Leigh Brozana (Staff Writer abrozana@republicanherald.com)

Published: September 26, 2010

Two Roman Catholic priests, both of whom served in several parishes in Schuylkill County over the past 30 years, have been removed from the ministry after an Allentown Diocesan Review Board found allegations of sexual abuse of minors to be credible.

The removal of Monsignor Bernard Flanagan, 54, who has been serving since 2006 as pastor at Annunciation BVM, St. George and Our Lady of Mount Carmel churches in Shenandoah and St. Mary Magdalen Church, Lost Creek, was announced at the 8:30 a.m. Sunday Mass by The Most Rev. John O. Barres, Bishop of Allentown.

Barres also announced the removal of the Rev. Andrew A. Ulincy, 74, at a 4 p.m. Saturday Mass at St. Paul Church, Reading, where he had been pastor since 1997.

The allegations have been reported to the "appropriate authorities" according to Diocese of Allentown spokesman Matt Kerr.

Both Flanagan and Ulincy will go to a treatment facility outside the diocese, Kerr said in a press release Sunday. Neither will be permitted to publicly function as a priest.

Kerr said in a phone interview Sunday evening that the alleged events of abuse did not occur in Schuylkill County.

The allegations against Flanagan date back approximately 25 years while those against Ulincy are from 1981, according to a statement by the diocese.

Kerr said that the abuse Flanagan allegedly committed occurred while he served as a priest at Reading Central Catholic High School while the abuse Ulincy is accused of occurred while he was priest at Ss. Simon and Jude Church, Bethlehem.

Flanagan and Ulincy each served as priest in three institutions in Schuylkill County - including area Catholic high schools. Flanagan also was in residence while in his training at a church in Saint Clair.

Flanagan, who was ordained in 1982, was in residence at St. Mary Church, Saint Clair, and also at St. Paul Church, Reading, and St. Catharine of Siena Church, Allentown, during his training. He served as priest at Nativity BVM High School, Pottsville; Mary Queen of Peace Church, Pottsville; St. Jerome Church, Tamaqua; Ss. Peter and Paul Church, Lehighton; St. Anne Church, Bethlehem, and Our Lady of Help of Christians Church, Allentown.

Since being ordained in 1966, Ulincy was priest at Marian High School, Tamaqua; Assumption BVM Church, Mahanoy City; St. Joseph Church, Frackville; St. Joseph Church, Jim Thorpe; St. Michael Church, Lansford, and Holy Rosary Church, Reading, Diocese officials said.

Kerr said while the recommendation for removal came down from the review committee this week, it was unclear how long accusations against each priest had been going through the review process.

"The review board determined this week the credibility of these accusations and made their recommendation to the bishop," Kerr said in the interview.

Kerr said both priests will be replaced, but it will be a few weeks before new priests are in place for the parishes.

"It hasn't happened yet, but there will be replacements but until then, there will be priests in those parishes to hold Mass," Kerr said.


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