The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Sunday, December 19, 2010
Again, Vatican delays defrocking serial predator, SNAP responds
Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach CA, western regional director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (949 322 7434, [email protected])
Sixteen years. That’s how long it took the Vatican to finally defrock a notorious Irish predator priest who is accused of molesting at least 40 children. An Irish church official admits at least seven priests knew of the child molesting cleric. Still, it took 16 years to defrock him.
According to the AP “Dublin leaders ordered Catholic priest Tony Walsh defrocked in 1993. But the Vatican overruled the verdict and ordered him sent to an Irish monastery instead. Rome relented in 1996 after police opened a criminal probe and Walsh attacked a boy in a pub restroom following a family funeral.”
According to the BBC, an Irish archbishop “wrote to the Vatican and begged the Pope to dismiss (Walsh). He was eventually defrocked in 1996 - 16 years after the first complaint.”
According to the Irish Times, Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said Walsh likely molested hundreds of kids and that “at least seven priests in the archdioceses were aware of Walsh’s behaviour,”
Martin also said his Irish colleagues “fought very hard to remove Walsh from the priesthood, including making a direct intervention to the pope.”
We can’t help but wonder how many of those children were assaulted by Walsh during that inexcusable 16 years of inaction.
These latest revelations show the wisdom of the Irish government in launching this investigation. The Northern Ireland government is to be commended for doing likewise. We hope other nations will show compassion for wounded adults and cautious for vulnerable kids and embark on similar investigations into devastating clergy sex crimes and cover ups.
(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 10,000 members. 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 SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, [email protected]), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, [email protected])
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests