Dominica - Bishop caves to protesters; SNAP responds

For immediate release: Wednesday, June 19

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, [email protected])

We’re appalled by the recklessness of Dominica Catholic Bishop Malzaire in the case of Fr. Reginald Lafleur, an alleged child sex offender.

The personal popularity of an accused predator priest is irrelevant.

Misguided parishioners should not be able to prod a timid bishop into keeping kids in possible danger just because an alleged child molester happens to have a strong following.

Most child molesters are popular. They work hard to seem kind and be loveable. Otherwise, no child would want to be with them. And no parent would trust them. So the fact that an adult acts like a good person doesn’t mean he or she is a good person.

We hope every single person who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by Fr. Lafleur or cover ups by Bishop Malzaire will come forward. That’s the only way kids will be safer – when those with knowledge or suspicions of child sex crimes speak up. And we hope they’ll contact secular authorities, not church figures. Child sexual abuse is a crime. It should be dealt with by the independent professionals in law enforcement, not the biased amateurs in church offices.

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SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant