TX--Notre Dame priest accused of abuse; SNAP responds
For immediate release: Wednesday, May 27
Notre Dame officials should immediately suspend a priest on their faculty who is accused of child sex crimes. They, along with San Antonio Catholic officials, should aggressively seek out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by the cleric or cover ups by his church supervisors.
A high-profile priest and professor, Fr. Virgilio Elizondo, is accused in a new civil lawsuit of sexually assaulting a child in Texas in the 1980s. We commend this brave individual who is taking action to protect others and expose those who commit and conceal heinous crimes against children.
More than a dozen years ago, US Catholic officials pledged to promptly suspend credibly accused child molesting clerics. This new suit, we believe, constitutes a credible allegation.
Fr. Elizondo should be removed from his post and sent to a remote, secure, independently-run treatment facility so that kids can be safer. And anyone with information or suspicions about clergy sex crimes or cover ups should call secular authorities, not church officials.
(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 20,000 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)
Notre Dame priest, professor named in Texas sexual assault lawsuit
Suzanne Spencer, POSTED: 09:42 PM EDT May 26, 2015 UPDATED: 10:04 AM EDT May 27, 2015
A priest and professor teaching at Notre Dame is named in a civil lawsuit in Texas. In the lawsuit, Rev. Virgilio Elizondo is one of two priests accused of sexually assaulting a minor in the 1980s.
The plaintiff, who is not named, accused Fr. Elizondo of touching the minor inappropriately. The lawsuit says Fr. Elizondo, "reached over, kissed him, and began to fondle him..."
According to the court documents, the plaintiff . . .
SNAP will be Representing Clergy Abuse Survivors in Rome!
We are taking the fight to Rome and are standing up for all survivors on a world stage! From February 19-25, Board President Tim Lennon, Seattle Leader Mary Dispenza, Los Angeles Leader Esther Hatfield Miller and Austin Leader Carol Midboe will be traveling to Rome for Pope Francis' Papal Abuse Summit.
If you are a member of the media and looking to get in touch with these survivors while in Rome, click here for our media advisory and contact information. If you are interested in connecting with a survivor in the US from your area of coverage, please contact one of the SNAP leaders in the US listed below:
- East Coast/DC: Becky Ianni (SNAPvirginia@cox.net, 703-801-6044)
- Midwest/Chicago: Zach Hiner (email@example.com, 517-974-9009)
- Midwest/St. Louis: David Clohessy (firstname.lastname@example.org, 314314-566-9790)
- West Coast / San Francisco: Melanie Sakoda (email@example.com, 925-708-6175)
If you are looking to help spread the word about the importance of this summit and for survivors to be heard, add your voice to the conversation on social media using the hashtag #PBC2019. Be sure to follow SNAP on twitter and Facebook and share our posts, add your comments, and let the world know that we are watching!Learn More