Roster of Statements


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Thursday, April 29, 2010

Longtime St. Francis Xavier priest named in sexual abuse lawsuit; SNAP responds

Statement by Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director (414 429 7259)

Let's hope every person who saw, suspected or suffered crimes by this cleric will step forward, call police, get help, protect others and start healing.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world's oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We've been around for 22 years and have more than 9,000 members across the globe. 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

Contacts: David Clohessy (314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915 home), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Mark Serrano (703-727-4940), Peter Isely (414-429-7259), Barbara Dorris (314 503 0003)

Longtime St. Francis Xavier priest named in sexual abuse lawsuit

BY PAT GILLESPIE • [email protected] • April 29, 2010

10:54 A.M. — Longtime St. Francis Xavier priest the Rev. Thomas Anglim has been named in a sexual abuse lawsuit in Miami.

Jimmy Wilkins, a Mississippi man who went to St. Francis Xavier parish school in the 1960s, alleges in a lawsuit Anglim sexually abused him at the school while it was operated by the Archdiocese of Miami. The school is now owned and operated by the Archdiocese of Venice.

Anglim retired from the church in 2004 after 38 years. He was pastor at St. Francis from 1966 and he bears the name for the Father Anglim Academy, a school that assists students who have learning challenges.

Anglim died in January in Ireland. He was 81.

According to a news release by Wilkins’ attorney, Jessica Arbour of Miami, Anglim supervised and worked with at least two other priests who have been accused of sexually abusing children — Anthony Mercieca and Jean Ronald Joseph.

In 2009, allegations against Joseph by a 31-year-old man were made public by the Diocese of Venice through a letter from the Most. Rev. Frank J. Dewane, the diocese’s bishop. Joseph denied the abuse, which was alleged to have happened at St. Francis Xavier about 15 years ago.


According to news reports, Mercieca admitted to abusing former Florida Republican congressman Mark Foley, who resigned in 2006 amid questions regarding sexually explicit Internet messages he allegedly sent to a teenage male congressional page.

Arbour has scheduled a 1 p.m. news conference outside the church. She said she will call on Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski and Venice Bishop Frank Dewane to publicly release the names and whereabouts of all priests accused of sexual abuse of children in the their dioceses.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests