14 Religious Order Priests Outed as Abusers, SNAP Calls for Transparency and Outreach
Thanks to the work of journalists in Toronto, the names of 14 abusers of children have been made public, all of whom are priests who belong to a Catholic teaching order. We call on the Basilian Fathers of Toronto to immediately release their own list of clergy who have been accused of sexually abusing children or the vulnerable and to do outreach across Canada and the United States in each location where these abusers lived or worked, ensuring parents and parishioners are aware of the allegations.
The Basilians have been exposed by brave journalists who sifted through court records and other lists of accused priests to uncover the names of 14 men who have been accused of abusing children. It is disappointing that these revelations came from the media and not Basilian officials themselves. Even more disappointing is the pushback from the order which is arguing that they do not need to release a list because it could put victims at risk.
We have seen Catholic officials using victims as a shield in the past and the way that the Basilian order is responding to this news is simply more of the same. The pushback comes straight from the Church’s playbook on abuse – deny, obfuscate, and work to keep secrets, secret. We hope that parishioners and the public in Toronto will demand more transparency from the Basilians, especially since so many of these men are placed into schools.
Another disturbing element of this news is seeing how many of these abusers were shuffled back and forth between the US and Canada. This is another key element of the playbook to keep the public in the dark about sexual abuse, but all this strategy actually accomplishes is spreading abuse to new and different places. It is clear that the Basilians need to be honest with parishioners and the public about the extent of abuse within their ranks, and they should be working to put out their own exhaustive list now, not splitting hairs and hiding behind their attorneys.
CONTACT: Brenda Brunelle, SNAP Windsor (firstname.lastname@example.org), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (517-974-9009, email@example.com)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)