Two new Memphis area predator priests identified
For immediate release, September 16, 2018
Contact David Clohessy, Volunteer St. Louis SNAP leader, 314-566-9790, [email protected]
Two new predator priests identified
Both worked in West Memphis
Victims group wants 'outreach' by Catholic officials
Arkansas Catholic officials have disclosed that two previously unnamed pedophile priests worked in West Memphis. A victim support group wants church authorities in Little Rock and Memphis to seek out others who may have been hurt by the clerics.
Last week, Arkansas Bishop Anthony Taylor released names of several child molesting clerics in his state. No Tennessee bishops have released names.
On that list were two accused Arkansas priests who were at St. Michael in West Memphis. They are:
--Fr. Donald Althoff, with one known victim, worked at St. Michael's parish in West Memphis. He has since resigned and was removed from active ministry in 1995.
--Fr. Edward Mooney, with two known victims. He is deceased.
"This is a small, belated step forward," said Tim Lennon, head of the St. Louis-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "But now, Catholic officials in both Arkansas and Tennessee must aggressively seek out and help others who were hurt by these two clerics, using church websites, pulpit announcements and parish bulletins."
At least one other Tennessee predator priest, Fr. Paul Haas, worked in Arkansas. From 1964-1965, he was at Catholic High School in Little Rock (1964-1965). Catholic officials admit he had "multiple victims in Tennessee."
We urge others to speak up if they have information about the allegations against Father Charles R. (Chuck) Schmitt, or any other priest in the Erie Diocese. We also encourage Bishop Persico to go to every parish where Father Schmitt worked and beg anyone with knowledge about the charges to contact law enforcement. It is always a crime to sexually abuse a minor.
We are very encouraged that victims who are still suffering in silence and shame are coming forward, we urge them to contact police no matter how long ago it happened, not the Church.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, is the world's oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 25,000 survivors and supporters. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org )
Contact - Tim Lennon (415-312-5820, [email protected]) David Clohessy, (314-566- 9790, [email protected]), David Brown (901-569-4500, [email protected])