WA- Victims group discloses predator priests
For immediate release: Monday, March 24, 2014
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
Today, we are disclosing – for the first time in the Seattle area, we believe - the names of three credibly accused predator priests who worked in this archdiocese.
One was deemed “unsuitable for the priesthood” by a church abuse panel. A second admits fathering four kids, visiting prostitutes and exploiting 7 Alaskan village women. A third was “outed” by church officials and was transferred often throughout five states.
Two of them still live in Washington (Seattle & Spokane) and none have been defrocked.
We're most worried about Fr. Harold Francis Quigg. A decade ago, a church panel deemed him “unsuitable for the priesthood” because of credible allegations of his “egregious” sexual abuse of a then-17 year old in Washington. But for a decade, Seattle archdiocesan officials kept the accusations against Fr. Quigg hidden from the public and let him stay among unsuspecting parishioners.
It's very possible that Fr. Quigg molested another child last night, last month, or last year, enabled by the callous secrecy of Archbishop Peter Sartain and his top aides. (We all know most victims speak up decades after they're assaulted.) How will the archbishop and his top aides explain their irresponsible actions to their flock if this has happened?
A decade is a long time to give a predator to destroy evidence, intimidate victims, threaten witnesses, discredit whistleblowers, fabricate alibis and keep molesting.
Seattle church officials rationalize this reckless and callous and deceitful behavior in a curiously legalistic, hair-splitting way. They claim that the time of Fr. Quigg's offenses, church rules said that 16 year olds were considered adults. (The 'age of consent' has since been raised to age 18.)
But the abuse panel also said it “would have found that there was sufficient evidence to support the allegation that this priest was involved in the sexual abuse of a minor if the current age of consent law (18 years old) was in place at that time of this event.”
We believe Archbishop Sartain and other Catholic officials are irresponsibly and selfishly staying secretive and splitting hairs so they can keep hiding a predator priest.
The other two priests are Jesuits who worked in the Seattle archdiocese at Manresa Hall in Port Townsend in the 1960s. http://www.seattlepi.com/realestate/article/Castle-for-sale-in-Port-Townsend-5194350.php
With them, Seattle's archbishop will likely claim that "they've never been on the archdiocesan payroll, they were here a short time many years ago, and one of them is dead."
Here's the flaw in those claims.
First, bishops have repeatedly pledged to be "open and transparent" about predator priests. They adopted a formal national church policy that allegedly mandates “openness and transparency."
They did not pledge to be "open & transparent" only about predator priests:
–who are or were on their payroll
–who molested recently or
–who spent lots of time in their own individual dioceses.
Church policy requires bishops to be “open & transparent” about all predator priests, living or dead, diocesan or religious order. Self-serving hair-splitting by Catholic officials is one key reason that tens of thousands of boys and girls in this country have been raped, sodomized and fondled by more than 6,200 Catholic priests.
So today, for the safety of kids, we urge Seattle's archbishop to:
–explain why he's kept silent about the three alleged predators, and
–permanently post on his church websites the names, photos, whereabouts and work histories of ALL the child molesting clerics who have worked in the Seattle archdiocese.
For the safety of kids, SNAP also wants Sartain to permanently post on his archdiocesan website the names, photos, whereabouts and work histories of all child molesting clerics
Washington Catholics and citizens (especially parents and victims) need and deserve to know every proven, admitted and credibly accused predator priest, nun, bishop, brother and seminarian who live/lived or work/worked in the Seattle area. Roughly 30 US bishops have taken this step over the past decade. http://www.bishop-accountability.org/AtAGlance/lists.htm
According to a Boston-based independent research group called BishopAccountabilty.org, there are 33 publicly accused Seattle archdiocesan child molesting clerics. The actual number of Seattle area pedophile priests is likely much higher 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.
Finally, we urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups – involving these three clerics or others – to call police, expose wrongdoers, protect kids and start healing.
(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 25 years and have more than 15,000 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)
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.