The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Release
Victims urge Belleville bishop to cut his own salary
SNAP: He should personally pay part of $5 million to victim
Group to Braxton: “Donate some of your pay as gesture of sorrow”
Organization also blasts Braxton for keeping accused priest in ministry now
Victims renews their plea to church officials: “Disclose where predators are living”
“If you won’t house and supervise them, at least tell us where they are,” they beg
They will also urge to Belleville’s prelate to
In 2008, after a trial, a jury awarded Jim Wisniewski $5 million in damages, largely because of overwhelming evidence that several church officials ignored and concealed Kownacki’s horrific crimes. While Braxton has appealed, another $1.35 in interest has accrued.
SNAP wants Braxton to 1) donate a portion of his own salary to pay the settlement, 2) work harder to find others who saw, suspected or suffered Kownacki’s crimes, 3) urge them to contact police so that Kownacki might be prosecuted, and 4) permanently post on his website the names, addresses and work histories of all proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics, so kids might be safer.
SNAP also wants Braxton to admit that, months ago, he received a credible report of child sex abuse against a still-serving Belleville diocesan priest who is now in a parish. The cleric should be suspended immediately, SNAP says.
Three months ago, SNAP disclosed the allegation without naming the priest. (Because there is no criminal or civil action against the accused priest, SNAP is not publicly disclosing his name.) As best SNAP can tell, Braxton has taken no action since the accusation was disclosed.
SNAP also upset that Braxton claims the verdict will cause financial hardship for the diocese, but won’t let independent third parties look at church finances and assets. The organizations don’t believe Braxton’s claim, especially since witnesses testified that the diocese earns more than $1 million annually just on interest.
Wisniewski, and other Kownacki victims, are represented by attorney Mike Weilmuenster (618 257 2222).
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests