TX- Archdiocese move is “too little, too late”

For immediate release: Friday, June 27, 2014 

Statement by David Clohessy, director of SNAP, 314 566 9790, [email protected]

The San Antonio Archdiocese has notified some of its flock about an admitted pedophile priest.

(see today's Express News).

Thirty five years ago, Fr. Bruce MacArthur was sentenced to state prison for trying to rape a disabled woman in a nursing home. 

Twenty two years ago, Fr. Bruce MacArthur admitting to Catholic officials that he raped girls.

Only now, however, does San Antonio's bishop take even the tiniest of steps to share that information.

Parents and parishioners deserve better.

MacArthur was moved across 20 assignments in seven dioceses, four states and two countries. Four bishops in Texas alone transferred him. His sordid history has been on a widely-known and trusted website called BishopAccountability.org for at least a decade. 

But San Antonio Catholic officials only act now, when a victim forces their hand. We can't help but wonder how many other serial child molesting clerics are in or have been in the archdiocese but whose crimes and whereabouts continue to be hidden by archdiocesan staffers, past and present.

Finally, the grudging, belated and small archdiocesan notice about MacArthur urged people to call church officials. That's a continuation of a decades-old pattern in which Catholic figures want to handle clergy sex crimes internally. It's secular officials, not church officials, who should be contacted with information about crimes. It's police and prosecutors, not priests and bishops, who should be told about crimes.

MacArthur is dead. He can't be prosecuted. It is possible, however, that current or former Catholic supervisors who helped him conceal his crimes might be prosecuted. And MacArthur's victims, at least some of them, are alive. They're likely still in pain. They deserve prompt, caring outreach, not a few tiny vague and carefully crafted notices issued decades late.

(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 25 years and have more than 20,000 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 Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, [email protected])


Showing 4 comments

  • Lani Halter
    commented 2014-06-29 14:50:02 -0500
    Yes. The surviving victims do need prompt, caring outreach…and, justice.
    I agree that SOL laws need to be not just reformed, but rather, broken and removed. There simply should not be ANY satute of limitations on rape and torture. Nor, for those who abett such crimes and criminals.
    I believe these crimes and criminals should be handled with the same level and degree of seriousness as the crime of murder is in this country, i.e. no statute of limitations.
    I think that if ever that goal is achieved, we will then know that finally both sectarian and non-sectarian entities agree and know that there no longer is ANY “tolerance” for these criminals and their crimes.
    And we, as both surviving victims and also the innocent, potential victims will know that the “rest of the world” has finally understood the gravity and exponential calamity caused of and by these crimes and these particular criminals.
  • Friend E
    commented 2014-06-27 16:10:00 -0500
  • Barbara and Mathias Garcia Boehland
    commented 2014-06-27 16:02:20 -0500
    Nothing has changed in San Antonio Texas archdiocese. The cover ups & the meanial apologies are old school….
  • @ tweeted this page. 2014-06-27 12:38:57 -0500

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