MI- Marquette Catholic officials hid allegations for 14 years

For immediate release: Thursday, September 25, 2014

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

For at least 14 years, Marquette Catholic officials have kept credible child sex abuse allegations against a priest hidden from parishioners and the public. We are outraged. 

Last night, Loreene Zeno Koskey, the spokesperson for Bishop John Doerfler, admitted this.

At least several (and perhaps a dozen) of church officials kept silent about these serious and credible accusations for a dozen years despite a national abuse policy, adopted in 2002, that mandates “transparency and openness” in clergy sex cases.

Heads should roll. Bishop Doerfler should harshly, immediately and publicly fire or punish every single church employee who knew of or suspected abuse by Fr. James Menapace or the alleged “discipline” of Fr. Menapace in 2000 by Marquette's then-Bishop James Garland (who is now retired). 

(The bishop is at 906 227 9115, 800 562 9745, ext. 115, [email protected]

We again call on Doerfler – as we did months ago to warn parents, parishioners and the public about a former Marquette priest, Fr. Benedict Van der Putten, who was defrocked due to credible child sex abuse allegations and now lives among unsuspecting families in Hawaii.

Doerfler should immediately post on the Marquette diocesan website the names, photos and whereabouts of every proven, admitted and credibly accused Catholic child molesting cleric who has ever worked or lived in the diocese. (Roughly 30 US bishops have done this. It’s the quickest way to protect kids), and use his bully pulpit and diocesan resources to aggressively seek out individuals who were hurt by the ten credibly accused predator priests in the diocese. 

And again, first and foremost, the bishop should fire or oust everyone on his staff who endangered kids and kept this information hidden from those who needed it most: unsuspecting parents.

We hope anyone who was hurt by Fr. Menapace and is suffering in silence and self blame will find the courage to speak up, expose wrongdoers, 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])



Showing 2 comments

  • Rebecca Schill
    commented 2015-09-24 01:49:35 -0500
    I’m speaking out I’m one of the mothers who’s son is a victim of this. We never received a apology or any finical support only psychological therapy my son life has been nothing but hell for the past few years he is physiologically has gone through so much I feel guilty because I left my young son alone with him my family has fallen apart due to the term ole and yet we receive nothing he walks the earth like nothing happened but yeti son lives a messed up life ! Where is the justices in this matter no where but a slip in the hand ! I liked to see punitive damage thisam should pay for emotional distress to both my son and I ! To this day I live in guilt because I felt like s bad mother I attempted to over dose to this day I feel like o failed my son from protecting him he was only 6 years old know my son and I both are psychological hurt ! Where is the justices for children we kill them befor they are born there sexually assaulted and one more thing we spend more money on research on breast cancer them we do childhood cancer when will our children be protected !
    Sincerely a very upset mother
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