Roster of Statements


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Tuesday, December 15, 2009

New bishop named for Owensboro Diocese; sex abuse victims respond

Statement by Barbara Dorris, National Outreach Director, 314 862 7688

On one hand, we're encouraged every time the Vatican promotes a priest, not a chancery official, to bishop. The odds are lower that a parish priest ignored or concealed child sex crimes than a member of the church hierarchy. And we vociferously oppose promoting men within the church who play or played a role in hiding horrific child sex crimes.

On the other hand, we're worried because Medley comes out of a very troubled diocese, one in which a former bishop is a credibly accused child molester. Given the sheer number of abuse and cover up cases in Louisville, it's hard to imagine that Medley was totally unaware of hundreds of clergy sex crimes. This is especially true because he worked under now-retired Archbishop Thomas Kelly as director of clergy personnel. He's also been on the diocese's College of Consulters, the Priests’ Council, the Planning Commission of the Archdiocese, the Priests’ Health Panel - all of which suggests he may have seen or suspected abuse but failed to contact law enforcement and perhaps even been a part of the church hierarchy's on-going cover up.

Regardless of his background or track record on abuse, it's crucial that anyone who sees suspects of suffered child sex abuse contact the independent professionals in law enforcement, not the biased and self serving amateurs in diocesan chancery offices.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the nation’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 21 years and have more than 9,000 members across the country. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is

Contact David Clohessy, National Director 314 566 9790,
Barbara Blaine, President 312 399 4747

Tuesday, Dec 15, 2009 @08:26am CST

New Bishop Named For Owensboro Diocese

Pope Benedict the XVI has named a new Bishop for the Owensboro Catholic Diocese. He is William Francis Medley.

Medley is currently serving in the Louisville Diocese. His ordination as the 4th Bishop of the Owensboro Diocese will be in February.

The following is a news release from the Diocese announcing the appointment.

His Holiness Benedict XVI has appointed William Francis Medley as the fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Owensboro. Bishop-elect Medley succeeds Bishop John J. McRaith, who resigned in January of 2009.

William Francis Medley was born on September 17, 1952 in Marion County, Kentucky to Dorothy C. Hayden Medley and the late James Werner Medley. He was baptized at St. Francis of Assisi Church, St. Francis, Kentucky and attended elementary school there. After attending St. Thomas Seminary High School, Bishop-elect Medley received a bachelor of arts in philosophy and psychology from Bellarmine University in Louisville and a master of divinity from Saint Meinrad School of Theology in St. Meinrad, Indiana. Before his ordination in 1982, Medley served as a social worker for the Kentucky Department of Human Resources from 1974 to 1978.

Bishop-elect Medley was ordained to the priesthood on May 22, 1982 at the Cathedral of the Assumption by the Most Reverend Thomas C. Kelly, O.P., Archbishop Emeritus of Louisville. He served as a transitional deacon before ordination at St. Rita Parish in Louisville. After ordination Medley became associate pastor at St. Pius X Parish, Louisville from 1982 -1985 while serving as chaplain at Assumption High School. In June, 1985 he was assigned associate pastor at the Cathedral of the Assumption, Louisville, where he served until 1988. In June of 1988, he was assigned as administrator of Saint Benedict Parish, St. Charles Borromeo Parish and Holy Cross Parish, Louisville, and in 1989, Bishop-elect Medley was appointed director of the Office of Clergy Personnel. In 1990 he became the establishing pastor of St. Martin de Porres Parish, which was formed through the merger of the former parishes of St. Charles Borromeo, St. Benedict, and Holy Cross.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests