OH--Catholic seminary makes contradictory claims

For immediate release: Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Statement by Judy Jones, SNAP associate Midwest director 636 433 2511,   [email protected]

Columbus Catholic officials seem to be blaming seminarian Joel Wright for fooling them. This seems like a convenience dodge.

Catholic officials want to have their cake and eat it too. They claim they did everything right with Joel Wright. (“Due diligence was carried out,” they claim.) But they also claim they’re proposing possible changes in the future. It’s hard to square these two contradictory claims.

It’s also worth noting that school officials can’t even bring themselves to mentioned Joel Wright by name in their news release. That’s not encouraging.

All the policies, protocols, procedures and pledges aside, the simple fact is that for several reasons, the pressure on Catholic officials to attract and keep seminarians – even sexually troubled ones – is greater than ever and the “costs” or penalties of making risky choices are less than ever. So we strongly believe that at Catholic seminaries across the world, sexually troubled men like Wright will continue to be accepted, child sex crimes will continue to happen and cover ups of those crimes will happen too.

But what we know for sure is that Catholic officials – in Vermont, Ohio and Kentucky – should be doing aggressive outreach to find and help others who

--might be able to help prosecutors convict Wright and

--might have been hurt by Wright and are suffering in shame, silence and self blame.

(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, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747,[email protected])

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