Victims blast Nashville Catholic bishop
Victims blast Nashville Catholic bishop
Four clerics are left off ‘accused’ priest list
Both were deemed ‘credibly accused’ by their bosses
SNAP: “How many other predators are still being hidden?”
Support group also wants Catholic high school field re-named
It honors a church official who ‘ignored or hid’ abuse reports, man says
Tennessee attorney general should investigate 3 dioceses, SNAP argues
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy molestation victims will disclose that two credibly accused predator priests
--have spent time in the Nashville area,
--attracted no public attention here, and
--are NOT on the Nashville diocese’s ‘accused’ clergy list.
They will blast Nashville Catholic officials for the omissions, question how many other predators are still being hidden, and insist that the bishop post a FULL list of priests, brothers, nuns, seminarians, and bishops who have violated others (and include their whereabouts, photos and full work histories).
The victims will also prod local Catholic officials to re-name an athletic field that honors a once high-ranking priests who, they say, ignored or hid clergy sex crimes.
Finally, they'll also urge anyone else who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups to “come forward, speak up, get help and call police, so that a predator or enabler might be charged, convicted and jailed, which would make kids safer.”
Thursday, June 13 at 11:00 a.m.
On the sidewalk outside the Cathedral of the Incarnation, 2015 West End Avenue (corner of 20th) in Nashville (615 327 2330)
Two-three members of a support group for clergy molestation victims called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), org), including a Missouri man who is the group’s former long time executive director and at least one Nashville man
----1) Last November, the Nashville diocese "the names of the 13 former priests who served in the diocese who have been accused of sexually abusing a minor."
But SNAP has discovered and is disclosing the names of four more publicly and credibly accused clerics who worked in the Nashville area but have been left OFF the diocese’s ‘accused’ list. They should be added, SNAP says. The four men are:
--Fr. John Dennis Mitchell, who was born in 1909, ordained in 1938, died in 1996 and worked in Salt Lake UT, Bountiful UT, Charleston SC, St. PaulMN, Detroit MI, Los Angeles CA, San Francisco CA, New York NY, San Diego CA and Toronto CN. In the Nashville diocese, he was at Good Shepherd parish in Winchester TN.
Earlier this year, his name was released by the Paulist Fathers on a list of ‘credibly accused’ abusive clergy.
--Fr. Benjamin R. Dino, who was born in 1940, ordained in 1964 and spent much of his career working in the Trenton NJ diocese, including Matawan and Keansburg. In 1994, he was at St. Patrick’s parish in McEwen TN and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Tennessee Ridge TN, both in theNashville diocese. He is believed to be deceased.
In February, Fr. Dino was included on the Trenton diocese’s list of ‘credibly accused’ child molesting clerics.
--Fr. Kenneth Gansmann, who worked in three Illinois dioceses (Joliet, Chicago and Springfield) and one Minneso diocese (St. Paul) as well as theNashville diocese (from 1960-1974 at St. Vincent DePaul in Nashville.
In 2007, a man reported to the St. Paul archdiocese that he had been sexually abused by Fr. Gansmann in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. In 2008, a high ranking St. Paul Catholic official wrote a letter admitting that he suspected others had been hurt by Fr. Gansmann.
In 2014, as part of a court-ordered disclosure, Fr. Gansmann’s name surfaced as a ‘credibly accused’ abusive cleric by the St. Paul archdiocese.
--Fr. Anthony G. Stredny, who was a native of Cleveland who worked largely in the Houston archdiocese. In 1957, he was ordained, in 1993 he was suspended and in 2018, he passed away.
According to Houston Chronicle archives, he worked at a Houston parish from 1985 to 1992, shortly before he was removed from the ministry.
Earlier this year, Fr. Stredny’s name was put on the Houston archdiocese’s ‘credibly accused’ list. He worked in both the Knoxville and Memphisdioceses.
(Of the names on the Nashville diocesan list, 11 were already known to be accused. Five, however, were publicly identified for the first time by the diocese: Fr. Edward James Cleary, Fr. James Arthur Rudisill, Fr. Edward Albert Walenga, Msgr. William Floyd Davis, and Fr. Joseph L. Reilly.)
SNAP wants these names added to the Nashville diocese’s ‘accused’ list and believes there are even more predator priests who’ve worked in the area and are still being kept hidden.
-----2) Ten years ago, staff at Fr. Ryan High School in Nashville honored a now-deceased cleric, Fr. Charles Giacosa, by naming an athletic field after him. Since then, a local abuse victim (and Fr. Ryan alum) has written 15 letters to various school and church officials and others asking that his name be removed, since he reportedly and repeatedly transferred priests knowing they were offenders.
SNAP is renewing this request now because Nashville has a relatively new bishop and because Pope Francis has adopted a new global abuse policy that calls for more sensitive treatment of victims.
-----3) SNAP is urging Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery to emulate his colleagues in 18 states who are conducting investigations into clergy sex crimes and cover ups. Slatery claims he lacks authority, but SNAP is convinced there are “helpful steps” he could and should take now. The group also says he should prod the legislature to give him more authority in this realm.
David Clohessy 314-566-9790, [email protected], Zach Hiner 517-974-9009, [email protected]