WV- Boy molested by priest, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
A new court filing yesterday revealed that an admitted predator priest likely molested a West Virginia boy and a support group for victims is urging the state's Catholic bishop to “aggressively reach out” to anyone else the cleric may have assaulted.
The priest is Fr. Joseph G. Gallatin, who was suspended in Dec. 2013 when church officials found evidence of “inappropriate conduct with a minor” around 1998 in his personnel file. Those records included reference to"the sexual nature of his contact" with a West Virginia boy and his "admitted sexual attraction to boys as young as 12," a former high-ranking church official-turned-whistleblower wrote.
Last month, a St. Paul Minnesota church panel determined that "significant restrictions" would be placed on Fr. Gallatin with continued monitoring and very limited ministry not involving children.
Jennifer Haselberger, the former chancellor of the St. Paul archdiocese, wrote a stunning 107 page affidavit that was filed in a civil child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit in the Twin Cities. In it, she outlined;
--repeated instances of a "cavalier attitude" towards the safety of children by Catholic officials and
--about 20 clergy in ministry who were guilty of sexual misconduct with adults and children despite bishops' pledges of “zero tolerance.”
Fr. Gallatin is mentioned by name 18 times in the document.
Fr. Gallatin's records may be available from St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson (email@example.com, 612 817 8665 cell, 651 227 9990), who represents abuse victims.
We call on Bishop Michael J. Bransfield Bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston to use his resources to seek out others who may have been hurt by Fr. Gallatin. Bransfield should put notices in parish bulletins and church websites and make pulpit announcements across the state this Sunday, urging anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by Fr. Gallatin to call police and get help.
(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 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)
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.