IL--Peoria bishop ousts predator priests; SNAP responds

For immediate release: Wednesday, Aug. 26

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

Statement by Jeff Jones, Peoria SNAP leader (, 815 985 9441)

We are saddened that Peoria’s bishop says nothing about calling the police about a child sex abuse report against one of his priests.

Bishop Daniel Jenky says that Fr. Terry Cassidy has essentially been suspended because of an abuse report. But in his news release Jenky does not urge victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to call police. Nor does he say whether or not he has turned over Fr. Cassidy’s personnel files to police.

We hope Jenky gives all of Fr. Cassidy’s records to law enforcement. And we hope every single person who may have seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups in the Peoria area – whether by Cassidy, Jenky or any cleric – will call law enforcement expose wrongdoers, protect kids and start healing.

We also hope that Jenky will go to every parish where Fr. Cassidy has worked, begging anyone with information or suspicions about him to call secular authorities. We also hope that Jenky will send this same message through church bulletins, parish websites and pulpit announcements across the diocese.

Jenky and his and-picked panel obviously believe this is a credible allegation. Otherwise, they would not have made this decision and announcement. Only a fool would believe that a credibly accused child molester only molested once. So we call on Jenky to launch an aggressive outreach effort to both find and help other victims of Fr. Cassidy and to help law enforcement potentially prosecute him.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has 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

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected], [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, [email protected])

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  • Wendy Speener
    commented 2015-09-14 14:45:40 -0500
    First I want you to be aware that I have children of my own. That being said I am a parishioner at St. Ann Church. Father Terry was wrongly accused. I cannot believe that you can write an article like this making someone guilty of a charge that has not been proven. This is a sick article. I hope when Father Terry proves his innocence that you all get sued for slander and defamation of character. Shame on you all. You advocate of the children by wrongly accusing a great man. If you knew him You wouldn’t be saying these horrid things. How can a man who was accused of child molestation 30 damn years ago be able to become the leader of the Tech program for ours children and counsel our children and yet no child has ever accused him of doing anything to them. None. You writer crap like this to perpetuate a stereo typical So called Catholic Priest that you have all deemed as child molesters because that’s the way the media and sick minded people portray them. I stand behind Father Terry 100%. I am heartbroken that he is being falsely accused and is not allowed to do what he loves in life which is to serve Our Lord, to teach and guide, to do what he knows in his heart is his calling. I am looking forward to his exoneration. I will also pray for all of you that learn to not slander or already convict someone before they are able to have their say and that all facts are laid out on the table. Innocent until proven guilty doesn’t mean you rake a man over the coals and destroy his name and character before they can prove thier innocence or guilt. We love you Father Terry. Always behind you <3
  • Brian Fields
    commented 2015-08-26 22:16:27 -0500
    I know Father Terry and I can tell you for certain that the allegations are false!
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