FL--Catholic officials punish whistleblowers

Victims blast Palm Beach bishop

Catholic officials punish whistleblowers

And they wanted to help a predator flee

Support group wants law enforcement to investigate

SNAP: “Those who conceal abuse should also face charges


Holding signs and childhood photos at a news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will blast Palm Beach’s Catholic bishop for retaliating against a whistleblower priest who called law enforcement when a colleague admitted child sex crimes and a nun who helped the whistleblower. The victims will also urge the bishop to

--hold an open public meeting to answer questions about the troubling allegations that his diocese tried to help a predator flee,

--explain whether he or his colleagues have done this with other child molesting clerics, and

--post all predator priests' names in parish bulletins and on church websites, and

--include their photos, work histories and whereabouts.



Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 1:30 p.m.


On the sidewalk outside the Palm Beach Catholic diocesan headquarters (“chancery”), 9995 N. Military Trail (corner of Holly Dr.) in Palm Beach Gardens


Two adults who were sexually abused as children who are members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), the nation’s largest support group for people who have been sexually abused in religious or institutional settings.


Hundreds of accused predator priests have fled or tried to flee the US, SNAP says, and one of the latest attempts, SNAP says, involves the admitted and now-convicted predator, Fr. Jose Palimattom.

In recent years, the Dallas Morning News (“Hiding in Plain Sight”), the Chicago Tribune and the Global Post (Will Carless) have documented this trend.

For the safety of kids, both in this country and abroad, SNAP wants Florida law enforcement agencies to investigate whether Palm Beach Catholic officials may have concealed evidence, obstructed justice, intimidated victims, threatened witnesses or violated any laws in the Fr. Palimattom case, especially in light of credible accusations by Fr. John Gallagher that church officials urged him to put the admitted predator on a plane instead of calling police.

For years, SNAP has urged bishops to take the passports of priests when abuse suspicions arise or reports against them surface. Since priests take vows of obedience to bishops and voluntarily give up many rights other US citizens have (the right to get married, to have sex, to volunteer at Planned Parenthood, the right to live where they want), it’s entirely appropriate for a bishop to tell a priest “Give me your passport until these allegations are cleared up,” SNAP says.

SNAP also wants local Catholic officials to post these predators’ names on church websites. Last week, Seattle Catholic officials posted 77 such names. About 30 US bishops have done this. http://www.bishop-accountability.org/AtAGlance/lists.htm

“It’s the quickest, easiest way to warn parents, police, prosecutors, parishioners and the public about predator priests,” says SNAP director David Clohessy. “It’s the very least church officials should do to protect the vulnerable, heal the wounded and expose the truth.”

According to BishopAccountability.org (an independent on-line archive of the church abuse and cover up crisis), the publicly accused child molesting clerics in the Palm Beach diocese are: Edwin Collins, Frank Flynn, Elias Francisco Guimaraes, Francis F Maloney, Jose Palimattom, Joseph Keith Symons. 


David Pittman, Florida SNAP director (754 234 7975), David Clohessy (314 566 9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314 503 0003 cell, [email protected]), Linda Pittman 772 985 9056

Showing 3 comments

  • Fontaine Boutwell
    commented 2018-05-30 08:46:31 -0500
    Chris’s story: as a child he was an alter boy along with a group of boys who all went to Bishop Kenny High School. There was an altercation with a coach that was picking on his brother, his father removed him from private catholic school and he graduated from a local public school. He went to UF on a scholarship. The priest in Jacksonville that was accused of molesting the alter boys had been sent to UF to be the campus priest. When a group of the alter boys from Jacksonville realized the priest had not been defrocked but transferred they ganged together and make physical threats if the church did not defrock the priest. They did at this time, sent him to college to get an advanced degree of his choice, he chose the law. He is now a judge in St Augustine. This creep is thriving and Chris became an alcoholic, he was a lost soul who never got over the repeated abuse of an organization he was raised in. And all you people want is the church to list the names of the bad priest, please… and in the church website. What has that done for all the lives that have been ruined, not only the boys but their families. Why should any of this issue be an emotional or financial burden to the victims. Why is this organization allowed to do business in this country? Why isn’t the church paying these families for their loss.
  • Snap LoyolaAlum
    commented 2016-01-26 11:46:19 -0600
    In the wrongful death lawsuit in regard to California Jesuit James Chevedden, Fr. Thomas Smolich said in a deposition that he was not concerned that Fr. Chevedden would be an effective whistleblower.
    Fr. Chevedden reported to Fr. Thomas Smolich, who later became the top USA Jesuit, that he was a victim of sexual assault by a Jesuit who eventually registered as a California sex offender.
  • @ tweeted this page. 2016-01-25 23:17:39 -0600

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