TN--Abuse victims to leaflet mass-goers
Abuse victims to leaflet mass-goers
Support group challenges bishop on abuse
SNAP: Catholic officials should be more forthcoming
Victims want diocese to post predators’ names on websites
They’re worried most about an accused predator who fled overseas
As church-goers enter mass, leaders of a support group for clergy sex abuse victims will hand out fliers. The leaflets urge Catholic church officials and members to
-- more aggressively seek out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and
-- prod them to call police and prosecutors.
They also want church officials to make a special effort to
-- warn others about a Chicago priest who spent time in Memphis and
--find an accused predator priest who fled overseas, and
Finally, they will also ask Memphis’ bishop and pastors to permanently post on church websites the names of all proven, admitted and credibly accused Memphis area child molesting clerics.
When: Sunday, November 9, at 11:45 a.m.
On the sidewalk outside the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 1695 Central Ave. (corner of Rozelle) in Memphis
Two-three members of an international support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a Missouri man who is the organization’s long time director. (He and his brothers were molested as a child by a priest. One of them grew up to become a priest and molested children himself.)
On Thursday, officials released 15,000 pages of long-secret church records about 36 abusive Chicago Catholic priests. On Wednesday, officials released the names and records of 24 abusive St. Paul Catholic priests. More than a decade ago, all US bishops pledged to be “transparent” about clergy sex cases.
But in the Memphis diocese, victims say, secrecy is still the norm. That means that “predators are still being protected and kids are being endangered,” SNAP maintains.
Memphis’ top Catholic official, Bishop Terry Steib, “only discloses what he’s forced to disclose” say advocates.
SNAP wants Steib to urge “anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered” misconduct by clerics to contact law enforcement.
And the group says that, for the safely of innocent kids and vulnerable adults, Steib and his pastors should permanently post on diocesan and parish websites the names of all proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics who have lived or worked in Memphis. Over the past 12 years, roughly 30 bishops in the US have done this (almost always when facing harsh public criticism for proven or admitted cover ups.)
This is the “bare minimum” bishops should do, SNAP says, to “protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded” especially since bishops “recruit, educate, ordain, train, transfer and shield predator priests” and then often “cut them loose when they’re caught molesting kids but refuse to adequately warn the police, prosecutors or the public about them.” It is a “simple, inexpensive, common sense way to safeguard kids,” SNAP says.
The group is particularly worried about two clerics.
1--Fr. John Walker Calicott, whose personnel file was released in Chicago this week. (See Chicago Archdiocese website, pages 168, 2222, 2266, 2272, 2276 and 2313). He was born outside Memphis, attended seminary in Memphis, hired a Memphis priest (Fr. Michael P. Joyce) to represent him when he was accused of abuse. SNAP fears he may have worked briefly in Memphis churches and abused here.
Fr. Calicott was ordained in 1974, was removed from public ministry in 1994 and again in 2002. He sued for abuse in 2004 and was defrocked in 2009.
2--Fr. Juan Carlos Duran, who is a fugitive from justice and who worked at the Church of the Ascension in Raleigh in 1999 and reportedly now lives in Bolivia.
In 2009, a child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit against Duran and his Catholic officials was settled in Memphis for $2 million. http://www.memphisdailynews.com/editorial/Article.aspx?id=36058
In 2004, he was charged with sexually abusing a ten year old boy in 1999-2002 in St. Louis and Chicago area. Duran admitted he sexually abused the boy when confronted by church officials about it.
(Some news reports say Duran was transferred to St. Louis after abusing in Memphis. Others say that he was transferred from St. Louis to Memphis.)
Memphis attorneys Gary K. Smith and Karen Campbell, represented Duran’s victim. Duran’s photo is on the website of a Boston-based independent research group called BishopAccountability.org
According to BishopAccountabilty.org, there are nine publicly accused Memphis area Catholic clerics. SNAP notes that the actual number of area pedophile priests is likely much higher because BishopAccountabilty.org lists only those clerics against whom allegations have been lodged in the public domain, in civil lawsuits, criminal prosecution or news accounts.
In 2002, Baltimore became the first US diocese to disclose predators’ names. A good current example is the Philadelphia archdiocese: http://archphila.org/protection/Updates/update_main.htm .
Here’s a list of bishops who have posted predator priests’ names:
The publicly accused Memphis clerics include Fr. Daniel T. Dupree, Fr. Juan Carlos Duran, Fr. Walter Emala, Fr. Milton J. Guthrie, Fr. William R. Kantner, Fr. Richard L. Mickey, Fr. James W. Murphy, Fr. Joseph "Edward" Nguyen, and Fr. Paul St. Charles.
Photos of Calicott, Duran and some of the other accused priests are at BishopAccountability.org
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.