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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

For immediate release: Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2010

Ex Beaumont priest is suspended

He’s accused of molesting five boys

Former cleric & teacher is ousted in Chicago

He held city job until his past came to light last week

At least one child sex abuse lawsuit against him was settled

Support group blasts Beaumont bishop and urges “outreach”

A Beaumont Catholic priest is accused of molesting five boys and when that news surfaced last week for the first time, he was quickly suspended from his city job in a Chicago suburb.

In 1997, Fr. Frank Paduch was sued in Cook County Illinois for allegedly molesting a boy during the 1980-81 school year. Two years later, that suit was settled for an undisclosed amount.

But from 1988 until 2000, Paduch was a priest working in Hardin, Liberty, and Jefferson counties for the Beaumont Diocese. Sometime before 2005, he moved from Texas to the Chicago area and until Friday, he was head of Senior Services for the city of Berwyn.

Two weeks ago, a support group for clergy sex abuse victims called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, learned of Paduch’s presence and position from several concerned Berwyn citizens. On Thursday, the group called a news conference calling for his ouster. On Friday, he was suspended. SNAP says it knows of four other accusers.

Originally, Paduch belonged to a Catholic religious order called the Augustinians before he joined the Beaumont Diocese in 1989. According to the Official Catholic Directory, he was ordained by then-Bishop Bernard Ganter at St Anthony Cathedral.

SNAP is asking Beaumont Catholic Bishop Curtis Gillory to “aggressively seek out and offer help to anyone who saw, suspected or suffered Paduch’s crimes,” said SNAP president Barbara Blaine of Chicago.

Paduch worked as a parish priest at two small Texas towns - Sour Lake and Liberty (both part of the Beaumont Diocese). In Liberty, Paduch worked as chaplain for the police department. While at Sour Lake, Paduch also worked as a student councilor and soccer coach at Kelly Catholic High School in Beaumont, until then-Bishop Joseph Gallante reportedly removed him from his positions at the school.

He is believed to have stayed in a lake house at the The Retreat at Artesian Lakes (formerly Chain - O - Lakes Resort & Conference Center) just outside Cleveland, TX.

More than half of Paduch’s 150 or so "friends" on his Facebook page are from Beaumont.

Both before and after his stint in Texas, Paduch reportedly worked in Miami, Florida as a counselor. It is believed that he is close to Fr. Patrick O'Neil of the Archdiocese of Miami and the President of St Thomas University. Around 1998, O'Neil was caught in a male prostitution sting by the Miami police in around 1998.

Paduch has also reportedly lived in Nederland, Texas and has been active, in Texas and Illinois, in youth sports.

“The Beaumont Catholic bishop can do nothing, and just hide behind legal technicalities, defense lawyers, PR people and his desk,” Blaine said. “Or he can do what’s right, visit Paduch’s former parishioners, and beg them to come forward so that the guilty can be jailed, the innocent can be protected and the wounded can be healed.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION – Barbara Blaine 312 399 4747, David Clohessy 314 566 9790

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests