National--New report: Predator priests sent overseas, still working

For immediate release:  Thursday, September 17

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

In a year-long investigation, GlobalPost “has found that the Catholic Church has allowed allegedly abusive priests to slip off to parts of the world where they would face less scrutiny from prosecutors and the media.   

Journalists “tracked down and confronted five such priests. All were able to continue working for the church despite serious accusations against them (and) all but one continued to lead Mass, mostly in remote, poor communities in South America.”

The investigation found that “Some of these men faced criminal investigations, but went abroad without charges being brought against them. One of the priests admitted to GlobalPost that he had molested a 13-year-old boy, and acknowledged that he can never work again in the US. He continues to preach in a small Peruvian fishing village. Another is currently under investigation by authorities in Brazil for a string of alleged molestations, including accusations in the poor neighborhoods where for two decades he ran a home for street children — with the support of the Catholic Church.”

GlobalPost reporter “interviewed one diocese leader in these communities, but was otherwise not granted interviews with local church officials. And despite protracted efforts and discussions with church press officers, neither the Vatican nor the chairman of a new papal commission set up specifically to tackle church child abuse would speak with us.”

For decades, bishops and popes have engaged in this same dangerous and disingenuous pattern – sending proven, admitted or credibly accused priests abroad to more vulnerable communities – and continue to do so now, despite persistent pledges of reform.

Every single Catholic employee in the dioceses where these predator priests have been or are now should be shouting from the rooftops to secular and church authorities to take immediate action to safeguard children from these child molesting clerics.

And Pope Francis should promptly fire their supervisors and every other Catholic staffer, high or low, who has enabled or is enabling

(See recent cases – within the last two weeks - involving New Jersey’s Fr. Espinoza and Oregon’s Fr. Bein. See also the case of Minnesota’s Fr. Joseph Jeyapaul, who fled to India where he oversaw schools even while criminal authorities were extraditing him.)

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

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