IA- Priest suspended; victims respond
For immediate release: Monday, June 30, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, [email protected])
Des Moines' Catholic bishop is being far too secretive and lax about the credibly accused child molesting cleric that he has suspended.
For the safety of kids, Bishop Richard Pates should disclose where Fr. Howard Fitzgerald, is now. He should disclose when Catholic officials first received allegations of child sexual abuse against Fr. Fitzgerald. He should put Fr. Fitzgerald into a remote, secure treatment center so he'll be kept away from kids. And he should personally visit every parish where Fr. Fitzgerald worked, begging victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to call police, so that Fr. Fitzgerald might be criminally charged, convicted and be kept away from kids even longer.
In short, Pates is not saying or doing enough about Fr. Fitzgerald. Pates has pledged to be “open” about clergy sex abuse cases. He should honor that pledge right now.
(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)