MI--Victims urge child porn priest to be sentenced; Victims respond

For immediate release: Tuesday, July 14 

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by  Priests

A priest who is on the sex offender registry is being sentenced today for child porn. He had the material in Chicago and in Michigan and he sexually assaulted a boy in Colorado. We hope he’s locked up for as long as possible.


Fr. Richard James Kurtz was living at a Catholic facility outside St. Louis when he was arrested.He also taught at a Jesuit school.

We believe he’s dangerous and apt to repeat his crimes. He should not be given a chance to hurt another child. Our view isn’t punitive. It’s preventative.

The Fr. Kurtz case is part of a continuing pattern of irresponsible actions by Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron with clergy sex crimes.

1. In November 2011, Vignernon refused to warn his flock about Fr. Kurtz even though he was arrested for sexually assaulting a 10 year old boy outside Denver.

2. In May 2012, Vigneron refused to warn his flock about Fr. Thomas D. Williams who returned to the Detroit area after exploiting a woman and fathering her child (a child neither he nor his Catholic supervisors are supporting).


3. In June 2012, Vigneron refused to warn his flock about Fr. Maurice G. McNeely who returned to the Detroit area after being named in a civil lawsuit charging that McNeely sexually abuse a young boy in Hawaii in 1976.


Vigneron should make up for his recklessness now by personally going to each parish where Fr. Kurtz worked, begging victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to contact law enforcement. It's possible that other clerics who ignored or hid Fr. Kurtz' crimes might also be prosecuted.

We hope every single person who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups in Detroit will speak up, call police, expose wrongdoers and protect kids. We also hope that they get help and start recovering.

We’d urge them, however, to call secular authorities and sources of help, not church sources.

(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 SNAPnetwork.org)

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

SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant