Roster of Press Releases


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

For immediate release: Thursday, Aug. 26, 2010

For more information: David Clohessy 314 566 9790 cell, [email protected], Joey Piscatelli 925 262 3699

Second child sex & cover up suit filed re Irish priest

Northern CA cleric faces extradition & criminal charges

SNAP urges Catholic bishop to reach out to other victims, witnesses

Another child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit is being filed against an Irish Catholic priest who faces extradition to his homeland.

The new civil case says that Fr. Patrick Joseph McCabe repeatedly molested a then 11 year old boy at St. Bernard’s parish in Eureka California around 1983. The crimes took place “almost weekly for nine to twelve months,” in the parish rectory, according to the complaint.

Last week, a different California man filed a similar suit charging that McCabe repeatedly molested a then nine year old boy in 1984-85 at the same church.

A support group for clergy sex abuse victims called SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) is blasting Santa Rosa Catholic officials for urging McCabe victims to call the diocese instead of the police. It’s urging diocesan staff to reach out more aggressively to anyone who may have witnessed or experienced sexual abuse by McCabe, who now lives in the Oakland area.

“Last week, the diocese issued a statement that didn’t once include the words ‘crime,’ ‘police,’ ‘prosecutors,’ or ‘law enforcement’," said David Clohessy of St. Louis. He SNAP’s director. "Instead, the church again told people who know about serious crimes to call the church. Bishops are still trying to ‘contain’ this on-going scandal by trying to keep it ‘in-house.’"

SNAP is also urging Santa Rosa Bishop Daniel Walsh to personally visit parishes where McCabe worked and prod victims of McCabe to come forward to the police, not the church. SNAP wants Oakland Bishop Salvatore Cordileone to do likewise.

“There are pending criminal charges here, so even a little bit of real action by Walsh could really help law enforcement,” Clohessy said.

The new suit charges that, “The Archdiocese of Dublin sent McCabe to the United States in May 1982 after receiving complaints of sexual abuse from young boys and concerns about his sexual impulses, for which he was given drug therapies including Depo-Provera. McCabe was first sent to a program for sexual abusers in New Mexico and diagnosed as a pedophile.” It also claims that Dublin’s Archbishop “spoke with Bishop Mark Hurley of Santa Rosa to allow McCabe to serve as a priest . . . in Eureka” and that, “Hurley transferred McCabe from St. Bernard’s Church to St. Elizabeth’s Church in Guerneville in late 1985 after receiving a credible report of criminal child sexual abuse.”

SNAP has criticized Walsh at least two other times in recent years. Walsh is keeping Msgr. Joseph Alzugaray in a Santa Rosa area parish, despite a secret recommendation by his own hand-picked abuse panel to suspend Alzugaray. At least one victim who sued Alzugaray and his supervisors has been paid a settlement of more than $1 million.

In 2006, along with numerous parishioners, SNAP blasted Walsh because he delayed reporting an admission of child sex abuse by Fr. Xavier Ochoa to police. Because Walsh and his staff waited to call the police, Ochoa was able to flee justice and escape to his native Mexico.

Several years ago, the Oakland diocese came under fire from some residents in the Rockridge neighborhood about seven sex offenders who have quietly moved into a church-run housing center in a residential community.

“Oakland Catholic officials, like Santa Rosa Catholic officials, have been and continue to be very secretive about clergy sex crimes and cover ups,” Clohessy said.

"We hope that McCabe being exposed and pursued helps his victims achieve some degree of healing and closure," said Joey Piscatelli of SNAP. "We are grateful that his Irish victims found the courage and strength to report these crimes, seek justice in the courts, and educate others about these horrific betrayals."

Still, Piscatelli said, only McCabe’s conviction and incarceration will "truly safeguard the vulnerable.”

The new lawsuit, like last week’s lawsuit, is being filed in Sonoma County Court. In both cases, the victim is represented by Sacramento attorney and psychologist Joseph C. George (916 442 7100), who has handled hundreds of child sex abuse lawsuits.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests