The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Thursday, April 28, 2011
Priest convicted of sex abuse and jailed in 1992 is now back in ministry in Ottawa; SNAP responds
Statement by John Shuster (360-551-9982 [email protected]) Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
In 1992, Father John (Jack) McCann, OMI, pled guilty to sexually abusing two teenage girls and was sentenced to 10 months in jail by a New Westminster judge. SNAP has just learned that today, Father McCann is a priest in “good standing” in the Archdiocese of Ottawa. McCann officiates at church functions and conducts “Pro-Life Masses” in cities across the Province. He is a religious order priest of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) whose Ottawa residence is at 175 Main St. Web site: http://www.omilacombe.ca
Father McCann has even “con-celebrated” Mass with Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast who granted him “faculties” or permission to function as a priest in the archdiocese.
(See attached picture: McCann and Prendergast Ottawa ProLife OLMC.jpg McCann is 4th from right, next to Archbishop Prendergast.)
Prendergast has also given safe haven to disgraced Bishop Raymond Lahey who was arrested at the Ottawa International Airport in October of 2009 for possessing child pornography on his laptop. In addition to seizing his computer, authorities say that Lahey has made several trips to Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand since 2005 – countries known for their active child sex trade.
This discovery of Father McCann in active ministry is yet another example of an alarming trend among Roman Catholic bishops - the silent reinstatement of predator priests back into unsuspecting parishes. Those who sexually abuse children are difficult if not impossible to cure and their tendency to re-offend is high. Advanced age does not stop predators from isolating and sexually abusing innocent children.
We believe that allowing known priest predators to once again wear clerical garb is a threat to trusting children in Catholic parishes. Archbishop Prendergast’s special treatment of McCann shows callous disregard towards the priest’s current victims who suffer daily from the PTSD after-effects of his sexual assaults.
Archbishop Prendergast’s endorsement of Father McCann is clearly against the church hierarchy’s promises to keep predators out of ministry.
We beg Archbishop Prendegast to immediately suspend Father McCann and make public announcements in every parish where he has worked detailing his criminal background as a convicted sex predator.
Now more than ever, it is important for anyone who has seen or suspected misdeeds by Father McCann contact the child exploitation and sexual assault unit of the Ottawa Police at (613) 236-1222 Ext. 5944. We ask anyone who has been harmed by Father McCann to come forward, reveal the abuse and begin healing.
Newspaper articles on Father John (Jack) McCann's trial and conviction, and a recent YouTube video:
YouTube Video from December 2010: At about 58 seconds into the footage, McCann appears on the left in priestly vestments: www.youtube.com/watch?v=r52Z55-OsT8
(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