Letters List


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Letters

Letter to New Mexico Archbishop


March 2, 2005

Most Reverend Michael J. Sheehan
Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe
4000 St. Joseph's Place, N.W.
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87120-1714

Dear Archbishop Sheehan:

We write you again regarding one of your priests who has been accused of sexually molesting at least six boys and yet remains in active ministry today, Fr. Ronald Bruckner.

Within the last 72 hours, we have been contacted by a seventh man who sadly and reluctantly reports he too was sexually assaulted by Bruckner. We find him and his account of his painful experience with Bruckner both very tragic and very credible.

To the best of our knowledge, this latest victim has not yet reported this crime to police or prosecutors. We have encouraged him to do so, and we will continue encouraging him to do so (as we do almost every victim who contacts us). We may also urge him to contact you as well, though frankly we have all too often seen already wounded victims get hurt again when they disclose their abuse to church officials. Should he contact you or your staff, we beg you to treat him with compassion and dignity, and to promptly and vigorously examine his allegations.

For now, however, he has given us permission to share his report with you and with the public, in the hopes of warning others about Bruckner and enabling you to help protect others from him.

We again ask, based on this new information and the allegations which have surfaced previously, that you publicly suspend Bruckner from active ministry now. Furthermore, we urge you to publicly beg anyone who witnessed, suspected, experienced or have knowledge of any sexual misconduct by him to come forward and contact law enforcement.

We fear, however, that you will be reluctant to take these steps. Please remember what you and your brother bishops have repeatedly promised: to err on the side of children's safety, to remove a credibly accused cleric first (temporarily) from his current assignment until a more thorough investigation can be completed.

We realize we're asking you to take a difficult step.

Attached you will find two documents. The first is our original letter to you from last July. We are disappointed you have not yet responded. The second is the first-hand account from this latest Bruckner victim of the suffering he endured. Although this victim has not yet contacted the district attorney of the County of Los Alamos, we will send his statement to them for review.

Please take the initiative and use your authority to follow words with actions that will serve to help heal those hurting while taking proactive steps to further safeguard children.


David Clohessy
National Director, SNAP
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
St. Louis MO 63143
314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915

Barbara Blaine
President, SNAP
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
PO Box 6416
Chicago IL 60680
312 399 4747

Steven M. Rabi, Director
SNAP New Mexico Chapter
P. O. Box 92652
Albuquerque, NM 87199
505 280 3369

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests