OR--Victims blast archbishop & Central Catholic over abuse allegations

For immediate release: Tuesday, Nov. 25

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])

A once-fired, twice-charged alleged child molester now gets to keep working for at least six more months around kids at a school, thanks to Portland Archbishop Alexander Sample.

And the principal who knew of the alleged molester’s past but warned no one about him gets to keep his job and suffer no consequences, thanks to Archbishop Sample.   

This is stunningly irresponsible and callous behavior by Oregon’s highest-ranking Catholic official.


Archbishop Sample must step in and overrule Central Catholic’s board which is 

--recklessly keeping Patrick Jay Wallace around kids for six or seven more months, and

--refusing to fire or even discipline the school’s president John Harrington who knew about the allegations against Wallace but apparently kept silent.

First, Wallace isn’t being hired again next year because of credible accusations that he molested at least one girl. So why keep him in a school around kids even one more day? Why take such risks? Whatever became of Semple’s pledge to protect kids and the US bishops’ allegedly binding national police of “zero tolerance?”

Second, Harrington fired Wallace once due to credible child sex abuse allegations, back in 1997. When he came aboard at Central Catholic, Harrington learned that Wallace was coaching there. Yet he evidently said and did nothing to make sure others knew about Wallace. What a dreadfully irresponsible thing to do.

Third, this is not a school matter. It’s an archdiocesan matter. According to church law, custom and practice, Sample is responsible for the safety and well-bring of every Catholic in the Portland archdiocese. And Central Catholic is a Portland archdiocesan school. Students and staff there have been put in harm’s way on Sample’s watch. And they’re continuing to be put in harm’s way with Sample’s approval. How can he be so callous and reckless? He should be ashamed and his flock should be outraged.

Finally, we urge every single person who may have seen, suspected or suffered child sex crimes or cover ups – by Wallace, Harrington or other Catholic officials – to call police and prosecutors. Known or suspected child sex crimes or cover ups should be reported to the independent professionals in law enforcement, not to biased, secretive Catholic bureaucrats.

And we again praise Wallace’s brave victim for helping to do what Harrington and Sample refuse to do: protect kids by alerting parents to Wallace’s continuing presence at Central Catholic.

(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 18,000 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])  

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