TX--Victims express doubts about new Austin bishop

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, [email protected], [email protected])

We’re worried about Austin’s new Catholic auxiliary bishop and how he’ll deal with the church’s on-going clergy sex abuse and cover up crisis.




Bishop Daniel Garcia graduated from one of the most troubling Catholic institutions in the US – St. John’s in Collegeville Minnesota. According to a website called Behind the Pine Curtain, 50 monks and ten other members of Saint John’s are proven, admitted or credibly accused offenders who have sexually violated kids, teens or vulnerable adults.

And for several years, he’s been a diocesan “insider” – a member of the priests’ personnel board since 2011 and vicar general for almost a year. Yet we’ve seen no improvement in how Austin Catholic officials deal with abuse in that time.

Roughly 30 US bishops have posted predator priests’ names on their website. Austin Catholic officials refuse. (There are at least six publicly accused Austin area predator priests. They include Fr. Dan Clogan, Fr. Dan Delaney, Fr. Daniel Michael Drinan, Fr. C. Richard Nowrey, Fr. James O'Connor, and Fr. Lonnie C. Reyes. We strongly suspect there are far more child molesting clerics who live or work – or have lived and worked – in the Austin diocese but who remain “under the radar.”)

Often, parents, parishioners, police, prosecutors and the public give new church figures the benefit of the doubt. We hope this doesn’t happen in Austin. Complacency protect no one. Only vigilance prevents abuse and cover ups.

We urge Austin citizens and Catholics to continue to share what they know or suspect about clergy sex crimes and cover ups to secular officials, not church figures.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 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, [email protected], Barbara Dorris 314-503-0003, [email protected], Barbara Blaine 312-399-4747, [email protected])   

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