PA- Philly priest trial starts; SNAP responds

Though the child sex abuse trial involving a Catholic priest and Catholic teacher starts this week, it’s never too late for other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to step forward and help make sure these criminals are convicted and kept away from kids.

We strongly suspect that there are current and former Catholic employees who know about or suspect child sex crimes by Fr. Charles Engelhardt and Bernard Shero. Though pedophiles are very secretive, often others who live or work with or near them have some evidence that can help prosecutors.

So we urge anyone with knowledge of these men and their wrongdoing to speak up now. It’s irresponsible to stay silent and risk that one or both of these defendants may get off on a technicality.

This trial is significant because few Catholic abuse and cover up cases ever go to trial. So much incriminating evidence remains concealed. And Catholic officials can then deny their complicity, no matter what happens to the actual molesters.

Through trials, the truth is revealed. At almost every trial like this one, involving Catholic predators and supervisors, witnesses and documents and evidence clearly show that top church staff acted with recklessness, callousness and deceit. The true extent of the corruption in the Catholic hierarchy is often laid bare. That, in turn, educates Catholics and citizens, and better enables them to protect their children in the future. And when wrongdoing is exposed, wrongdoing is deterred. So trials like this one can help dissuade officials in other institutions who may be tempted to try to sweep child sex abuse reports under the rug.

We commend Philadelphia law enforcement for bringing this important case. And we especially commend and thank this brave victim for having the strength and courage to protect others, expose corruption and heal himself by seeking justice in court.

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, [email protected]), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, [email protected]), Judy Jones 636-433-2511, [email protected]) Karen Polesir (267-992-9463[email protected])

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Showing 1 comment

  • Michael Ference
    commented 2013-01-07 11:59:14 -0600
    Why would the Philly Inquirer run a story on Father Michael LeDoux and the Pittsburgh media doesn’t even want to touch the story. (See link to story below).

    When the reporter refers to Michael LeDoux being an administrator for a high school and university in western PA, she means Serra Catholic High School in McKeesport, PA and Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.
    It should be noted that friends and I exposed Michael LeDoux weeks ago on several Internet sites.

    Michael LeDoux is now the second Franciscan cleric who served at Serra Catholic High School in the 80s and 90s to be credibly accused of sexually abusing innocent children, the other was Brother Kenneth Ghastin. A fellow colleague and I exposed Ghastin years ago. After Ghastin case was settled with twin brothers in the Boston Archdiocese, sadly, one of the brothers would commit suicide. Very similar to another case at Serra Catholic High School in McKeesport, PA where a teenage boy tried to kill my son back in 1989 when Ghastin was at Serra and just a few years before LeDoux showed up as headmaster.

    The shooter in my son’s case, just like in the case of the twin brothers would commit suicide.

    One can only surmise the extent that the Pittsburgh Diocese, Serra administrators, McKeesport elected officials, McKeesport Police, Pittsburgh media and other law enforcement officers needed to do to make sure everything was covered up.

    LeDoux served at Widener University near Philadelphia, but LeDoux served at Serra Catholic High School in McKeesport, PA as the Headmaster and later taught at Duquesne University. Plus, LeDoux was the second credibly accused cleric to have been placed at Serra Catholic High School from the Franciscan Order in New York.
    Is the Pittsburgh media afraid that more sexual abusers might be exposed with any publicity. Where’s the so-called investigative reporters from the Pittsburgh media when a story is sitting there waiting to be plucked from the air.

    Keep in mind the attempted murder of my son on the Serra High School campus was covered up. The shooter had an extraordinary interest in satanism and the occult. I have documentation from a volunteer who worked with Animal Friends in the late 80s and early 90s and can verify that animals were abused in rituals at the time McKeesport, Clairton and Braddock, PA.

    Former Catholic priest John Wellinger, a close friend of the shooter (in my son’s case) and a credibly accused sexual predator sought out the advice of then Mt. Lebanon police officer and occult expert John Mihalec, when, yet, another teenage boy took his own life with a shotgun blast to his head, just like the shooter who tried to kill my son. I met with Mihalec, and talked to him over the phone a few times back in 1990. Our first meeting was just a few weeks after he first met with Wellinger. Over the years since Mihalec has retired, I tried several times to contact him, he’s never returned my calls or emails. Even good cops, no what cases to avoid.

    The Pittsburgh Diocese has a lot of explaining to do. For now, the Pittsburgh media will help keep the open secret an open secret.

    Mike Ference
    [email protected]

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