Indictment Returned Against Franciscan University Priest, SNAP Calls out Diocese of Steubenville for Hairsplitting
A priest who worked as a campus minister at Franciscan University in Steubenville, OH has been indicted on charges of rape and sexual battery, but church officials in Steubenville are splitting hairs over the priest’s status as a religious order priest.
It does not matter that Fr. David Morrier was not incardinated into the Diocese of Steubenville, what matters is he worked within their borders and allegedly preyed on at least one person who was a Steubenville catholic. Rather than blame shift and attempt to split hairs by saying that “Fr. Morrier was not a priest” in Steubenville, church officials should be pulling out the stops to announce the indictment and do outreach to parents of Franciscan University students and parishioners.
It is common for other survivors to come forward after news about an arrest has been made, and we hope that anyone who may have been hurt by Morrier or witnessed his crimes will feel empowered to come forward to local police. By our count, this is the sixth Catholic clergyman or staffer arrested in the United States this year, showing that issues of clergy abuse are not a thing of the past. We hope church officials in Steubenville will do the right thing and use all of the resources at their disposal to do outreach to their local community and work to protect other children from abuse.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)