Man files unusual formal complaint vs. bishop
Man files unusual formal complaint vs. bishop
Bowling Green “cradle Catholic” worries about abuse
Clergy sex victims enthusiastically endorse his effort
They also want Owensboro ‘accused cleric’ list expanded
SNAP: Local church official leave some alleged predators off
Group divulges ‘two credibly accused’ priests who worked here
SNAP: “They’re ‘under the radar’ & may have hurt local kids too”
“Victims, witnesses should call KY state politicians,” group says
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, two Kentucky men and a nationally known clergy sex abuse victims will:
--disclose that a disillusioned Bowling Green Catholic is filing a rare, ten page formal complaint about Owensboro’s bishop with the Vatican,
--disclose for the first time that at least two credibly accused predator priests worked in the Owensboro area are but have attracted no public attention here and are NOT on the diocese’s official ‘credibly accused’ list.
They will also prod
--Owensboro’s Catholic bishop to add these names to his “accused” clergy list, and
--anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups in Kentucky to contact lawmakers about conducting a statewide investigation into this crisis.
Friday, June 14 at 1:00 p.m.
Outside the Owensboro diocesan headquarters (a.k.a. the chancery or “pastoral center”), 600 Locust St, (corner of W. 7th St.) Owensboro, KY
A 64 year old Bowling Green ‘cradle Catholic’ and CPA who is filing the official church complaint and two leaders of SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (one is the group’s Kentucky director and the other is the group’s former long-time executive director and the victim of a credibly accused predator priest).
-----1) Mike Montgomery, a life-long Catholic, has written and met in person with Owensboro Bishop William F. Medley about clergy sex crimes and cover ups. Afterwards, he wrote Kentucky’s highest-ranking Catholic official (Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz) and has reluctantly submitted a rare, formal, ten page complaint about Medley’s abuse track record to Pope Francis’ top US official (Papal Nuncio Archbishop Christophe in Washington DC).
In the complaint, Montgomery specifically details instances in which Medley has ignored, hidden or mishandled pedophile priest cases over a period of four years, largely when he was personnel director in Louisville. (He will speak at the news conference and provide copies of his complaint.)
For instance, in one case, Medley recommended to another church official that a credibly accused abusive priest “might be a very good assignment” in a new parish where there are supposedly “few youth and children.” He also wrote that the alleged predator “continues to do . . .work at the Cathedral” and will “probably take on” more masses.
SNAP applauds Montgomery for his “courage and compassion” and hopes his bravery will inspire other current and former church staff members and staff to obey Pope Francis’ recent edict to speak up about knowledge or suspicions about clergy child crimes.
---2) In April, Bishop Medley posted a list of ‘credibly accused’ child molesting clerics. (Most bishops did so earlier.) But SNAP has discovered and is disclosing the names of two priests who a) are publicly and credibly accused of molesting kids, b) worked in the Owensboro area, but c) have attracted virtually no local attention. They should be put on Bishop Medley’s “accused’ list, SNAP says. They are:
--Fr. Cosmos (Cosmas) Dahlheimer, who was at St. Maur’s Priory in the Owensboro Diocese in South Union KY in 1964.
In the 1960s, he received treatment for psychological problems and was accused of abusing four youths between 1970-1978. Catholic officials claimed they only learned of the allegations in 1987. Civil abuse lawsuits were filed against him in 1990 and 1994, and in 2002, at least two suits settled in 2002. He was a Benedictine, an Army chaplain, and also worked in Canada and Iowa. Fr. Dahlheimer died in 2004.
Fr. Dahlheimer was listed as a credibly accused abuser by three Minnesota church entities: the St. Cloud diocese (in 2018, as ‘likely to have abused’ kids), the St. Paul archdiocese (in 2014, as facing “substantiated allegations of abuse”) and St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville (in 2013, as ‘likely to have committed’ abuse.)
--Fr. Joseph T. Neeson who was pastor of St. Rose’ parish in Cloverport in 1925-1928. In 2002, Fr. Neeson was accused in a lawsuit of abusing an altar boy in the 1950s. He retired in 1957, died in 1966, and had been a priest for 76 of his 99 years.
In February, he was included on the Louisville archdiocesan list of credibly accused clerics.
3) Finally, SNAP is begging anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes or cover ups in Kentucky to contact their local law enforcement, lawmakers and the state’s attorney general. Victims say he should a) immediately set up a statewide hotline for clergy sex abuse (as some AGs have done), b) use his ‘bully pulpit to prod victims so speak up and police to vigorously investigate abuse reports and c) seek legislative authority to convene a grand jury to investigate all of the state’s dioceses, as roughly 15 of his colleagues are doing.