FL- New child sexual abuse lawsuit filed, SNAP responds

For immediate release: Wednesday, August 13, 2014 

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790[email protected])

A new child sex abuse lawsuit has been filed against Fr. William Authenrieth who is apparently still alive and living in Massachusetts.

We urge Orlando Bishop John Noonan to urge his colleagues in Massachusetts to warn the public and their parishioners about Fr. Authenrieth, who has been accused of or sued for child sex crimes at least five times. That's the least Noonan can do to protect children. (After all, Florida Catholic officials recruited, educated, hired, trained, shielded and transferred Fr. Authenrieth. They can't simply suspend him from parish work and do nothing more to seek out those he has hurt and safeguard those he may hurt.)

Some might argue that, given his age  (about 80), Fr. Authenrieth isn't likely assaulting children now. They would be wrong. 

It takes only seconds for a man to shove his hands down a boy's pants or his tongue down a girl's throat. And who would parents or kids trust more than an elderly, balding, stoop-shouldered, grandfatherly-looking figure? 

It's irresponsible for anyone to assume that because a child molester is older, he's somehow safer.

We urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered Fr. Authenrieth's crimes to come forward, get help, 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 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)

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]

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