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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Defrocked & convicted rapist priest is now on parish panel

Statement by Barbara Dorris, Outreach Director 314-862-76888 SNAPdorris@gmail.com

A convicted and defrocked child raping ex-priest is on the parish council in Louisville, according to a newly-amended lawsuit. The suit charges local church officials with retaliating against a whistleblower who expressed concerns about another child molesting cleric at the parish.

This news of stunning recklessness by Catholic supervisors comes on the heels of other similarly shocking revelations of recent recklessness just last week:
--In California, where, an admitted sex addict and child molesting priest was suspended (after being quietly reinstated in 2009 with no warning to parishioners)
--In Pennsylvania, where, a prosecutor and grand jurors have concluded that 37 credibly accused child molesting clerics remain on the job around kids in Philadelphia.

Where's the diligence and vigilance about child safety that Catholics are repeatedly promised by bishops? As they have for decades, the Catholic hierarchy deserves an "A" for public relations and an "F" for follow through. Pledges of reform seem too often be followed by massive back-sliding and deceit and irresponsible actions.

The Philadelphia grand jury said that church procedures "designed to help victims are actually helping abusers and (church officials)." Sadly, this is obviously true is many other dioceses besides Philadelphia.

What makes this particularly tragic is that any time a child predator is given a role or title or position of authority, it helps enable him to win the trust of parents and thus access to their kids.

Louisville's bishop owes citizens and Catholics an explanation for this recklessness. He should severely punish every person who played a role in helping a convicted child rapist be around unsuspecting families and vulnerable children.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has 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, 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)

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Lawsuit against Germantown church expands, names convicted sexual abusers, former priests

WHAS11.com - Posted on February 14, 2011 at 11:43 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A man named as the parish council chairman at St. Therese Catholic Church in Germantown, previously convicted of rape has now been added to a lawsuit. The lawsuit from Gary and Margie Weiter says she was fired for complaining that Father James Schook was secretly living at the rectory. Schook had been removed from another parish after allegations he sexually abused five young boys. Those allegations the archdiocese later called credible.

The lawsuit says Schook's presence was especially troubling for Gary Weiter, who was abused by another priest at Saint Therese when he was a child.

On Monday WHAS11 learned an amended lawsuit now names Bruce Ewing as the parish council chairman. In 2007 Ewing, a former priest, was convicted of raping a 15-year-old girl in the 1970s. Ewing, who also spent years working for the city as an aldermanic aide, is now on Kentucky's sex offender registry. The Weiters say they were never told of Ewing's past and that Ewing, as parish council chairman, did not adequately respond to their concerns about Schook.

However, the archdiocese says Ewing was only a church member, not council president. They have released an official statement:

"We have not seen the amended case and just learned about it late this afternoon. Our attorney also has not seen the document. Therefore, we cannot respond to specifics since we don’t know what it says, and we do not comment on pending litigation.

Bruce Ewing left active ministry decades ago. He was formally dismissed from the clerical state by the Holy See in November of 2004.

Bruce Ewing was not the parish council president, but he is a member of the church. We are unsure of his role and how this parish advisory group was formed. We will have to look into this further. “


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