Predator Priests Moved Country to Country
Victims blast international movement of predator priests
Group wants Interpol to go after child molesting clerics
SNAP gives list of 32 who have moved to/from 18 nations
Over last 10 years, at least 6 from the US have come to Rome
Group: "Church officials should take accused priests' passports"
And they must stop letting child molesting clerics change their names, SNAP says
Holding signs and childhood photos at a news conference, US clergy sex abuse victims will
-- hand out a list of 32 alleged predator priests who have moved or been sent abroad,
-- publicly push Interpol, for the 1st time, to help pursue those who face criminal charges, and
-- discuss 6 priests – from Australia and the US – who face abuse allegations and were sent to work/ live in/or near the Vatican over the past decade. (One was reportedly still living in Rome last year.)
The victims will also prod Catholic officials to stop
--sending child molesting clerics to other nations, and
--letting predator priests legally change their names (to avoid being caught), and start
--taking the passports of priests once they are accused so they can’t flee to other countries, and
--aggressively help law enforcement apprehend fugitive predator priests
TODAY, ----Tuesday, March 12 at 1:15 pm
Orange Hotel, 86 Via Crescenzio 00193, Roma +39.06.6868969
Two clergy sex abuse victims who are leaders of the US-based international support group SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)
A 2004 investigation by the Dallas Morning News found more than 200 priests, accused of sexual abuse, who sought refuge in foreign countries. Nearly 100 cases involved clergy who escaped or were sent elsewhere to elude law enforcement. SNAP suspects this practice will increase in the future.
The newspaper discovered that at least six accused priests have been have been sent to live or work in Rome: Fr. Julian Fox (Australia), Fr. Juan Baptist Ormechea (Illinois and Kentucky), Fr. Barry Bossa (Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York), Fr. Joseph Henn (Arizona), Fr. Richard Mataconis (New York), Fr. James Tully (Massachusetts, Sierra Leone and Giunea). http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/spe/2004/runawaypriests/
More recently, SNAP has learned that another US priest, Fr. Charles H. Miller – who worked in Missouri and Texas – was also transferred to Rome after a settlement was paid to one of his victims.
SNAP considers Rome to be a particularly dangerous place to more predator priests, because of close ties between church and state in Italy, and because of the sheer number of devout Catholics who come to Rome and who are apt to trust priests here.
Last year, a similar investigation by the Chicago Tribune turned up 32 admitted, proven or credibly accused predator priests who have moved or been sent to another nation after allegations against them were reported. (SNAP will hand out a list of them organized by nation.) The countries involved include Ireland, Belize, Bangladesh, Italy, India, Mexico, Canada, Philippines, Malta, Kenya, Northern Ireland, Columbia, England, Peru, Australia, United States, the Vatican and the Netherlands. http://media.apps.chicagotribune.com/fugitives/priests.html
Some of the nations included in the Morning News series are India, Congo, Australia, Mexico, Costa Rico, Italy, Fiji, Samoa, England, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Ireland, Nigeria, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Netherlands, Bangladesh, Belize, Malta, Kenya, Peru and St. Maarten.
At least six of the clerics in the Morning News series belong to a religious order known as the Salesians, which has a headquarters in Rome. They include Fr. Frank Klep (Australia), Fr. Carlos Peralta (Illinois and Peru), Fr. Victor Hugo Carrera (Chile), Fr. Horacio Macal (Costa Rica), Fr. Juan Manzo (Mexico), and Fr. Enrique Vasquez (Costa Rica).
SNAP plans to write to officials at Interpol, urging them to make more efforts to track down and bring to justice those clerics who face charges but have fled to other nations.
SNAP will also discuss several “traveling” priests who have changed their names after having been accused or found guilty of molesting kids, including clerics who have been or are in Amsterdam, California and Ireland (Fr. Oliver O’Grady), Missouri & Nevada (Fr. James Beine/Mar James), Missouri and New Jersey (Fr. Carmine Sita/Fr. Jerry Howard), Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, Illinois & Missouri (Br. Robert Brouillette/Robert Sullivan) and Louisiana & Washington (Fr. Lane Fontenot/Fr. Jean Paul Fontenot). One cleric, Fr. Jesse Cervantes, who now calls himself Jesse Gutierrez-Cervantes, has moved but has stayed within California.
O’Grady, Beine, Sita, Fontenot, and Brouillette were all convicted of child sex crimes (though the conviction of Beine was overturned on a technicality).
SNAP will urge Catholic officials to forbid priests from legally changing their names after being accused of abuse. The group also wants the church hierarchy to insist that priests give their passports to their bishop once they are accused of abuse, so they cannot flee overseas.
The two SNAP leaders are from St. Louis Missouri and know of at least six accused clerics from their own archdiocese who have gone or been sent abroad. Two of them - Fr. Charles H. Miller and Fr. Jean Baptist Ormechea – were sent to Rome (Miller in 2007 and Ormechea in2003. As recently as last year, Ormechea was still in Rome, according to BishopAccountability.org).
The others are Fr. William Christensen (Bangladesh), Fr. Kevin Hederman (Belize), Br. Felix Bland (Africa), Br. Gregory Sutton (Australia). Bland and Sutton both pled guilty to criminal child sex charges.
Photos of some of these men (including Ormechea, Miller, Gutierrez-Cervantes, and others) are available at BishopAccountability.org
Our hotel: NH Villa Campagna (Via Pio IV, 6) Ph 011 39 06 393731 (Clohessy-Rm 220, Dorris-Rm 320)
NOTE - CHANGED PLANS: Dorris be in Rome until Thursday, March 14. Clohessy will be in Rome until Wednesday, March 20. And starting March 13, Clohessy will be at the Hotel Cambridge, Via Palestro 87, Rome 00185 (011 39 06 49384917)
A SNAP spokesman (now in the US, not in Rome) is available for Spanish-speaking interviews by phone and email. Juan Carlos, 312-420-4301 or [email protected] (He is a victim who was abused in Chile by Fr. Karadima.)
Other SNAP contacts in the US: office 312 455 1499, Peter Isely (on Central US time) 414 429 7259, [email protected] - Joelle Casteix (on Pacific US time) 949 322 7434, [email protected] - Becky Ianni (on Eastern US time) 703 801 6044, [email protected]
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 12,000 members in 65 nations (but we have heard from victims in more than 100 countries). We are based in Chicago Illinois, though Clohessy and Dorris live in St. Louis, Missouri.
Despite the word “priest” in our title, we help people who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers.
Our website is www.SNAPnetwork.org