The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Victims blast newly appointed bishop
Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, president of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747, [email protected])
We are disappointed in this selection. Fr. Chuck Thompson, the new Evansville bishop lives with and has been publicly identified as a protégé of the widely disgraced Archbishop Thomas Kelly. That does not bode well for the safety of Indiana children or the healing of Indiana victims.
As Louisville's vicar general, Thompson has almost certainly been involved in at least some, if not most, of that archdiocese's mishandling of clergy sex abuse and cover up cases. While Thompson wasn't the "top dog," he certainly played a role in these cases (especially the disturbing pending "whistleblower case" involving Fr. Bruce Ewing and Fr. James Shook). We challenge Thompson to immediately, clearly and publicly explain what he did to improve the archdiocesan response to children's safety and how he differs from his former bosses - Kelly and Kurtz - on this horrific, on-going crisis.
Nearly 300 clergy sex abuse victims have courageously stepped forward in the Louisville diocese, where Thompson has spent almost all of his clerical career. That sheer number says a lot about how corrupt Thompson's home diocese was and is.
This appointment marks the second time in recent months that the Vatican has appointed a questionable cleric to a church position in Indiana. Earlier, Pope Benedict tapped Cardinal Bernard law's former spokesman as an auxiliary bishop in Indianapolis. Surely, the Pope can do better and Indiana Catholics deserve better.
(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 23 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