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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Monday, February 28, 2011
Archbishop hides new clergy sex abuse lawsuit
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
Once again, a Catholic bishop tries to hide a credible child sex abuse allegation against a priest.
Once again, the public learns of the accusation through the news media, not through church officials.
On Saturday, the San Antonio Express News disclosed a lawsuit, filed last month, against Father Theo A. Clerx who is accused of molesting several girls at St. John Berchmans Catholic Church.
When the accusation was made, San Antonio Catholic officials told no one. When the lawsuit was filed, San Antonio Catholic officials told no one. When defense lawyers filed a motion responding to the suit, San Antonio Catholic officials told no one.
Only because of a newspaper do San Antonio citizens and Catholics know of this serious and credible allegation.
How does this differ from the way Catholic officials have handled clergy sex cases for decades? Not at all.
It’s been almost a decade since America’s Catholic bishops promised to be “open and transparent” about clergy sex abuse and cover up cases. But most of them, Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller included, keep breaking this promise.
San Antonio Catholic officials split hairs and parse words to evade responsibility. They claim that since Clerx belongs to a religious order, they have no obligation to be honest with their flock about his alleged crimes.
This predator lived, worked and died in the San Antonio archdiocese. He spent years in archdiocesan parishes around archdiocesan families and archdiocesan kids, some of whom he molested. Yet somehow, San Antonio’s cowardly and deceptive Catholic officials apparently think it’s “Christ-like” to duck and dodge and deny any affiliation to him or any duty to his victims. Shame on them.
(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, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, firstname.lastname@example.org), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests