OH--Cincy Catholic group challenged in court over child sex abuse

For immediate release: Thursday, Dec. 18

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

Seven clerics with a Cincinnati-based Catholic group are accused of sexually abusing children in New Mexico, according to new court documents and the Gallup Independent newspaper. (Full article is below.) We call on the head of the group, Fr. Page Polk ([email protected], [email protected]), to fully disclose their long-secret records about clergy sex crimes and cover ups.   

The religious order, called the Franciscans, is located at 1615 Vine St. and 5000 Colerain (513-542-1082, 513-542-7999) in Cincinnati. For four decades, it has sent priests to the small Gallup diocese.

Five of the accused clerics are believed to be publicly named as alleged perpetrators for the first time: Ephrem Beltramea (listed as Ephraim Beltremea), Eugene Botello, Crispin Butz, Finnian Connolly and Clementin (listed as Clemetine) Wottle.

Besides making public their records about predators, we also urge the Franciscans to

---reveal every church facility where these seven accused clerics worked –in every state – and

---aggressively seek out anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by them.

Fr. Mark Soehner handles abuse cases for the Franciscans. He is at 513-721-4700, extension 3214.

We also urge anyone with information or suspicions about Franciscsan clerics who may have committed or concealed child sex crimes to call police and prosecutors right away.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 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, [email protected], Barbara Dorris 314-503-0003, [email protected], Barbara Blaine 312-399-4747, [email protected]  

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