Priest on Administrative Leave for Abuse Allegations Allowed to Quietly Retire, SNAP Responds
A priest who faces at least three child sex abuse allegations was allowed to quietly retire. This kind of move flies in the face of church officials’ repeated promises to be open and transparent in cases of clergy abuse. We call on Toledo Catholic officials to go public with the results of their internal “investigation” into the allegations against Fr. Nelson Beaver as soon as it is completed.
“One thing I believe the diocese should explain immediately is what their spokesman meant when she said ‘all of the civil complaints have been dealt with,’” said Claudia Vercellotti, leader of SNAP Toledo. “Was she referring to the end of the criminal investigations, or did she mean that accusers have sued, and that they have settled their claims or dropped them? If it is the latter, church officials should come clean on exactly how many ‘civil complaints’ against Fr. Beaver were filed, and if any or all of the settlements were subject to non-disclosure agreements. Parishioners and parents in Toledo deserve answers to these questions.”
While we have little faith in church-run investigations like this one, if church officials in Toledo are serious about getting to the bottom of this case and protecting children and vulnerable adults, we believe they must do more. The first step they can take is to use church websites, parish bulletins and pulpit announcements to beg anyone with information or suspicions about Fr. Beaver to call law enforcement.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)