Letters List


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Letter

Letter to Archbishop Mansell

May 24, 2011

Dear Archbishop Mansell:

While nearly 30 proven, admitted and credibly accused Hartford area priests are publicly accused predators, we strongly suspect that you are hiding the names of other dangerous and potentially dangerous child molesting clerics. We urge you to disclose the identities of all other child molesting church employees - whether lay or ordained, alive or dead, religious or diocesan, and current or former workers. We also ask that you permanently post the names, and info about each employee's crimes, on church websites. Two dozen of your colleagues in dioceses across the US have taken this simple, inexpensive, non-controversial step toward safeguarding kids. We beg you to do so soon.

(Even your highly controversial and widely discredited colleague, Philadelphia's Cardinal Justin Rigali, posts such names:

We understand that this could take weeks, of course. But right now, for the sake of public safety, we ask that you
-- admit that Fr. Richard McGann is a credibly accused child molester,
-- admit that's why he was quietly suspended in 2005,
-- apologize and explain your reckless and callous secrecy for years about McGann,
-- put him in a treatment center (so kids can be safer and he can get treatment) ,
-- beg anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered his crimes to contact police, and
-- disclose whether the archdiocese has made other secret settlements involving other child molesting clerics.

In April, as you know, we disclosed a previously secret, six-page 2009 settlement between your archdiocese and a man who reported being sexually abused 200 times by McGann. In the weeks following our disclosure, we have heard from numerous sources that McGann, whose whereabouts were reportedly unknown, lives at Pumpkin Patch Day Care Center (31 Root Ave., Bristol).

We then wrote to the head of the Connecticut Public Health Dept. urging that her agency look into McGann's presence at the facility. Late last month, Child Care Licensing Specialist Diana Reyes confirmed that such an investigation has begun.

In light of this information and these developments, and given the safety risk we believe McGann poses to kids, we respectfully but firmly urge you to take the steps outlined above as soon as possible. Your continued secrecy and inaction is, we believe, irresponsible to families with children at risk now and hurtful to those who have been hurt by McGann in the past.

Even if you don't believe he lives at the child care facility, you know that your lawyers and your staff have determined that the allegations that he repeatedly molested Jeff Libby are true. You know that McGann isn't behind bars. You know that, until recently, almost no one knew of the credible accusations against him. You know that child molestation is a very damaging crime that is likely to be repeated. And you know that you and your brother bishops have pledged to be "open and transparent" about child sex cases.

For all of these reasons, we believe you have a moral and civic duty to "come clean," take action, and try to reduce the chances that McGann will molest another child.

David Clohessy
Executive Director, SNAP
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
7234 Arsenal Street
St. Louis MO 63143
314 566 9790

Barbara Dorris
Outreach Director, SNAP
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
6245 Westminster
St. Louis MO 63130
314 862 7688, 314 503 0003

Jayne O'Donnell
Voice of the Faithful
West Hartford CT
[email protected]

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests