Catholic Priest from Huber Heights Placed on Leave Following Accusations, SNAP Calls for Outreach
A Catholic priest from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, OH, has been placed on leave following “an allegation.” Now we call for Church officials in Cincinnati to be forthcoming with parishioners and the public about the nature of these accusations and to do outreach at each and every parish where the cleric worked so that victims, witnesses, and whistleblowers are encouraged to come forward and make a report.
According to the Dayton Daily News, Fr. Anthony Cutcher of Huber Heights, OH, has been placed on leave after Catholic officials received an “allegation.” So far, Diocesan leaders have not deigned to share any specific information about the accusation with their parishioners and have kept them in the dark regarding the nature of the allegation. In order to protect their flock and the public, Church officials should be completely transparent about the nature of the accusation, whether it involves sex crimes or sexual misconduct, or something else, like financial impropriety.
In addition to being open and honest with parishioners, Archbishop Dennis Schnurr should personally visit each parish where Fr. Cutcher was assigned, sharing updated information about the allegation, and encouraging anyone with information to come forward. Given the lack of transparency that has plagued the the Catholic Church in recent years, Archbishop Schnurr should be taking this opportunity to demonstrate that lessons have been learned and that parishioners, parents, and the public will be better informed about abuse and other crimes, now and into the future.
Finally, we hope that church officials will confirm that secular law enforcement authorities are involved in investigating and reviewing the allegation. If not, they should explain why. Church officials in the past have been clear about including information about law enforcement investigations, so the absence of any mention of police or prosecutors in this case is notable. Stories like this serve as an important reminder that all allegations of wrongdoing should be reported to police first so that the experts in criminal law and investigation can be involved from the start.
(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)