CA- Victims to leaflet parish about new diocese head

CA- Victims to leaflet parish about new diocese head

Victims to leaflet parish about new diocese head 

He admitted to destroying evidence, and

Cleric protected/promoted sex offending clerics

It's time for "outsider" to lead diocese, group says

Child safety must come first, SNAP pleads

WHAT

Holding signs and childhood photos, child sex abuse victims and their supporters will hand out educational leaflets to Catholics entering and leaving Mass. The leaflets are about the priest recently chosen to head the Diocese of San Diego and say that the priest:

-- Admitted to shredding evidence about child sex crimes, and

-- Oversaw the placement of a convicted sex offending priest back into a local parish.

They will also:

-- Urge Catholic officials to choose an "outsider" who is not deeply entrenched in diocese politics, and

-- Beg Catholics to voice their concerns to the diocese group who selected him.  

WHERE

Outside of Immaculate Conception Church, 2540 San Diego Ave., in Old Town San Diego

WHEN

TOMORROW Sunday, September 14 at 8:45 am. The group will leaflet after the 8:30 mass and before the 10:45 am mass.

WHO

4-6 victims of child sex abuse who are members of an international support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org

WHY

Last week, a priest who admitted to shredding evidence of child sex abuse was chosen to temporarily run the Diocese of San Diego.

The priest, Msgr. Steven Callahan, is the current vicar general of the diocese. After the death of Bishop Cirilo Flores, Callahan was chosen to be the temporary administrator by the college of consultors, a group of high ranking priests in the diocese. 

Members of SNAP were dismayed to hear the news.

In a sworn 2003 deposition, Callahan admitted to shredding child sex abuse and cover-up files.

They fear now that Callahan is in charge of all of the secret sex abuse and cover-up files of the diocese—those not turned over as a part of a 2007 settlement with more than 150 victims of child sex abuse—more documents will be destroyed and more crimes covered up.

Callahan was also vicar general in 2011 when Fr. Alexis Davila was reinstated as a priest after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a young woman. Davila was only removed after victims informed the press. 

Members of SNAP are reaching out to local Catholics, asking for their help and support. They want Catholics to understand the potential threat Callahan poses. They also want to encourage Catholics to pressure church officials into chosing an administrator who is an "outsider" and not tied into the "status quo" and politics of the diocese. They fear that with Callahan in charge, children are at risk of abuse.

CONTACT

Esther Miller, SNAP Orange County Leader, estherhatfieldmiller@gmail.com, (562) 673-9442 (cell)

Barb Dorris, SNAP Outreach Director, (314) 503-0003 (cell), SNAPDorris@gmail.com

Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, SNAP Western Regional Director, jcasteix@gmail.com, (949) 322-7434 (cell)  

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