Victims blast NM bishops and seek outreach in two cases
- Victims blast Catholic officials
- They seek “outreach” in two cases
- One convicted priest was just deported
- Another was just sued for abuse recently
- SNAP to bishops: “Post predators on websites”
- “And aggressively seek out others in pain,” group says
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will urge NM’s Catholic bishops to
--use their “vast resources” to “more aggressively seek out” others who may have been hurt by two NM clerics, &
--permanently post on their websites the names of all credibly accused predator priests.
They will also prod anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered other clergy sex crimes and cover ups in New Mexico to come forward, get help, call police, expose wrongdoing, protect others and start recovering. And they’ll ask Santa Fe’s archbishop to write to his colleagues in the Philippines to warn them about one predator priest.
5-6 members of an international support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, including a Chicago woman who is the group’s founder and president.
Friday, May 25 at 1:00 p.m.
Outside the Catholic Center offices in Albuquerque at 4000 Saint Joseph's Place (near Alamogordo Dr. NW)
Last month, a convicted Catholic pedophile priest who spent 15 years at 16 NM churches was deported. And in late March, a Catholic brother – who was sent to NM after molesting in Louisiana - was targeted in a civil child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit suit filed in Santa Fe.
In both instances, SNAP believes New Mexico’s Catholic officials – especially the state’s three bishops (Gallup, Las Cruces, and Santa Fe/Albuquerque) – should aggressively seek out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by the two men. And SNAP wants those bishops to permanently post on their websites the names, photos and whereabouts of dozens of proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics (as two dozen other dioceses have done). This is the quickest and best short term measure the church hierarchy can take to safeguard kids, the group believes.
The recently-deported man is Fr. Jose Superiaso, a diocesan priest. The recently-sued cleric is Brother Samuel F. Martinez, who belongs to a religious order called the Christian Brothers.
Superiaso served prison time for molesting in California.
Martinez faces three other accusers. In the latest case, the abuse allegedly happened in Texas. The most recent lawsuit charges that Catholic officials repeatedly sent child molesting clerics to the Sangre de Cristo Retreat Center in Santa Fe to hide priests them instead of reporting them to the authorities.
According to a Boston-based independent research group called BishopAccountabilty.org, there are almost 50 publicly accused New Mexico child molesting clerics (8 in Gallup, 3 in Las Cruces and 38 in Santa Fe/Albuquerque.) The actual number of NM pedophile priests is likely much higher, SNAP says, because BishopAccountability.org lists only those clerics against whom allegations have been lodged in the public domain – in civil lawsuits, criminal prosecution or news accounts. Helping Catholics, citizens and prospective employers more easily find out about these predators is the “bare minimum” bishops should do, SNAP maintains.
In 2002, Tucson and Baltimore became the first US dioceses to disclose predators’ names. A good current example is the Philadelphia archdiocese: http://archphila.org/protection/Updates/update_main.htm. Here is a list of all the dioceses that have disclosed names: http://www.bishop-accountability.org/AtAGlance/lists.htm
Ordained in 1985, Superiaso worked from 1991-98 in northern California and from 1998 to 2003 at many NM parishes, including St. Anne's in Santa Fe, La Santisima Trinidad in Arroyo Seco, San Antonio de Padua in Valdez, Santo Nino de Atocha in Las Colonias, San Cristobal in San Cristobal, Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe in Taos, St. Jerome's in Taos, St. Theresa in El Prado, Our Lady of Sorrows in Canon, Immaculate Conception in Ranchitos, San Antonio in La Loma, Cathedral of San Francisco de Asis in Santa Fe, Santa Clara Indian Pueblo in Rio Arriba Co., San Ildefonso Indian Pueblo in Santa Fe Co. and Tesuque Indian Pueblo in Santa Fe. (His full work history is at http://www.bishopaccountability.org/assign/Superiaso_Jose_F.htm)
SNAP also wants Santa Fe/Albuquerque’s archbishop to prod his colleagues in the Philippines to warn their flock about Superiaso. Superiaso is believed to be in his native Philippines.
Martinez is believed to be at a nursing home in Lafayette, La. Martinez’victims are represented by Texas attorneys T. O. Gilstrap and S. Clark Harmonson (915 581 0020 - firstname.lastname@example.org).
Photos of both men 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.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
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.