Roster of Press Releases


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Another accused priest works in Philadelphia Archdiocese

Jesuit was accused of sexually harassing a young seminarian

Despite a settlement in 2002, he’s chaplain at a Philly university

SNAP wants him removed and students and staff told of his past

“It’s not just kids,” group says, “Clerics also assault vulnerable adults”

Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will disclose that a Jesuit priest who was sued for sexually harassing a seminarian is now a chaplain at a Philadelphia Catholic college. They will also urge university and archdiocesan officials to
--suspend him,
--explain why he was appointed despite the allegations and settlement involving him, and
--tell current and former students and staff about his past.

They will also urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or misdeeds to come forward, get help and call police, even those who may have technically been adults when they were hurt.

Friday, March 4 at noon

Outside the Philadelphia Catholic archdiocesan headquarters (“chancery”) 222 North 17th Street In Philadelphia.

3 or 4 members of a victims’ self-help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (, and several concerned Philadelphia Catholics

Ten years ago, a California man, John Bollard, settled his civil sexual harassment suit against three Jesuit priests who sexually harassed him as a young seminarian in the late 1990s. SNAP recently learned that one of those priests, Fr. Thomas F. Gleeson, is now a chaplain at St. Joseph University in Philadelphia (610 660 1443, [email protected]. Gleeson also works in the school’s Office of Development and Alumni Relations.

In 1993, Bollard began to study at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley. There, Bollard says Gleeson (then president of the school) sexually propositioned him: "He said to me that if I wanted to be friends with him, I shouldn't be surprised if it became sexual and that he himself was most interested in mutual masturbation."

Bollard's was the first sexual harassment suit by a former seminarian against the Jesuits, according to the National Catholic Reporter. It also charged two other Jesuits - Father Andrew Sotelo and Father Anton – with sexually harassing Bollard. The case was featured on the investigative TV show “Sixty Minutes.” The suit sought $1 million but was resolved for an undisclosed amount.

In October 2009, SNAP members unsuccessfully sought to have Gleeson removed as a board member at Wheeling Jesuit University .Interim school president J. Davitt McAteer refused.

SNAP wants Cardinal Justin Rigali and St. Joseph officials to suspend Gleeson and investigate the allegations. The group also wants to explicitly encourage those who were victimized by clergy as vulnerable adults to step forward, get help, expose wrongdoing and protect others.

The suit was filed in San Francisco federal court in 1997. Bollard's attorneys were James Wagstaffe (415 371 8500, [email protected]) and Mary Patricia Hough (415.399.1110).

Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests