The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Group blasts NYC predator priest for suing his victim
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)
A defrocked Bronx priest, found guilty by Catholic officials of molesting a teenaged boy, is suing one of his victims. Shame on him.
Ex-priest Charles M. Kavanagh claims everyone is wrong: his victim, the church official who suspended him, the church officials who permanently ousted him and the church officials who gave his victim a financial settlement. Kavanagh claims that never, in an eight year church process, did the truth surface.
Kavanach’s victim Daniel Donohue has suffered enough. Our hearts ache for him. We are glad he’s been brave enough to come forward and expose Kavanagh as a predator. We’re confident he’s strong enough to endure this injustice too.
We fear that Kavanagh’s harsh move will intimidate other victims and witnesses from speaking up, getting the help they need, and protecting kids by exposing other dangerous clerics. Donahue simply did exactly what bishops urge victims to do: report abuse to authorities.
Now more than ever it is important for anyone who saw, suspected or suffered crimes by Kavanagh to come forward, seek help and call police. We suspect there are many others who have been hurt by Kavanagh, and we hope that some of these crimes can be prosecuted. When predators are behind bars, then children are safe.
(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 23 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), Peter Isely (414-429-7259) Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688), Mary Grant (626-419-2930), Mark Serrano (703-727-4940)
Defrocked Bronx priest Charles Kavanagh suing sexual abuse accuser for defamation
BY Scott Shifrel - DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER - Tuesday, March 29th 2011, 8:34 PM
A once-prominent Bronx priest who was defrocked after a church tribunal found him guilty of sexually abusing a teen is suing his accuser for defamation.
Charles Kavanagh, who was once in charge of the archdiocese's fund-raising arm, claimed in a federal suit filed Tuesday that he's innocent.
Kavanagh, 73, was dismissed from the clergy after former seminary student Daniel Donohue said the priest took him to a Right to Life rally in Washington and molested him in a motel room.
"When he made this accusation in writing, Donohue knew it was false and he made it with malice," Kavanagh says in the lawsuit.
"Any reasonable person would consider a false accusation of such conduct against a holy priest to be outrageous and highly offensive."
Donohue, now 46, received a settlement from the New York Archidiocese, the lawsuit says.
The priest's filing includes an affidavit from the former dean of Cathedral Preparatory Seminary, saying students weren't allowed to go to the Right to Life rallies.
It also includes affidavits from two former students saying they were never taken to the rallies and didn't know anyone who was.
And it notes minor inconsistencies in Donohue's story, such as the time of day that the 1973 abuse allegedly happened.
Kavanagh has been fighting the allegation since Donohue lodged it in 2002 - with church rallies, letter writing campaigns and repeated appeals to church courts.
The lawsuit does not name the church nor the newspapers that quoted Donohue and asks only for a jury trial.
Donohue could not be reached for comment but his wife told the Daily News they thought the incident was finally behind them.
"Holy Jesus, Mary and Joseph," D.C. Donohue said of the court filing. "It's so outrageous. What a crazy fellow."
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests