Victims ‘out’ three more accused Saginaw priests
Victims ‘out’ three more accused Saginaw priests
Group blasts Michigan Catholic officials on abuse
They beg church whistleblowers to call law enforcement
SNAP wants bishop to post ALL alleged offenders' names online
“More details are also needed to better protect the vulnerable,” it says
"The real solution," group insists, "is criminal prosecution & legislative reform"
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will disclose that three publicly accused priests were or are in the Saginaw diocese. Each spent time in central Michigan but have attracted little or no media or public attention before in the state, having mostly been accused of abuse elsewhere.
And the victims will call on local Catholic officials to
--post names of ALL accused priests on their diocesan website,
--include details like their work histories, whereabouts and state photos, and
--join with victims in pushing for real legislative reform, like repealing Michigan’s "archaic, predator-friendly statute of limitations" so survivors can do what bishops will not do: expose child molesters in court.
Finally, they’ll prod church staff to “end their silence” and call police about abuse & cover up.
Wednesday, March 13 at 1:30 p.m.
On the sidewalk outside the Saginaw Catholic diocese headquarters, 5800 Weiss St. (corner of Wieneke Rd.) in Saginaw, Michigan
Two – three victims and advocates who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, including a Missouri man who was the group's former long time executive director
1) In 2018, police raided the two Saginaw church properties and the bishop’s home as part of an ongoing investigation into sexual abuse in the church, and complaining about the diocese's lack of cooperation.
SNAP is begging current and former church officials and members who know of or suspect clergy sex crimes or cover ups to ‘break their silence’ and call law enforcement.
2) In 2018, then-Bishop Joseph Cistone posted names of some accused clerics on his website. https://saginaw.org/names-clergy-accused-sexual-abuse-minor
SNAP is urging Walter Hurley, the current head of the Saginaw diocese, “for the safety of kids and the healing of victims,” to prominently and permanently post on church websites the names of ALL credibly accused church staff, and include there whereabouts, photos and full work histories.
SNAP has discovered and disclosing names and information about three publicly accused predator priests who are ‘under the radar’ in Michigan. The clerics have been publicly exposed for child sex crimes elsewhere, spent time in the Lansing diocese, but are virtually unknown here. They are:
--Fr. Roy A. Drake who was accused in 2005 of raping and sodomizing a 13-year-old boy in 1969 on an overnight before a ski trip while at Fordham Prep in the NY archdiocese. In 2014, he was accused of sexually abusing a 16-year-old boy in 1974 while Drake worked at Maine Maritime Academy in the Portland diocese. He was also assigned in the dioceses of Boston, Seattle, Grand Rapids or Saginaw, Syracuse, Washington, and St. Louis, working at colleges and retreat houses and giving hundreds of workshops and retreats in the US and internationally. At one point, he was the spiritual director for the NY archdiocese. From 2006-2008 when he passed away, he was at the Vianney Renewal Center, a church–run treatment center.
From 1977-1978, he was listed in a church directory as living at Rt. 1, Box 82, Hillview Lake Drive, Rodney MI.
--Fr. Francis Landwermeyer, who was listed by the Jesuits Central and Southern Province on its ‘accused’ list in 2018. His first assignment was at Jesuit College Prep in Dallas. But Fr. Landwermeyer also worked in Shreveport LA, New Orleans, Tampa FL,Milwaukee WI, Biloxi MS, Charleston Heights SC, Saginaw MI, Columbia SC, and San Antonio TX. He reportedly molested in the 1960s and 1970s, was removed from ministry in 2010 and died last August.
Fr. Landwemeyer, who blogged about the abuse and cover up crisis, writing “more than once about pedophile priests” and railing against the church hierarchy, including former Pope John Paul II, for compounding the abuse,” according to one newspaper.
--Fr. Austin Schlaefer, who was identified in a 2013 Capuchin report as a “deceased friar with confirmed reports of sexual abuse of minors.” His name is included on this list without any additional information on the allegations against him. He died in 1992 in Saginaw and worked in Milwaukee, Detroit and Chicago.
It’s possible that one or all of these clerics molested youngsters in the Saginaw diocese, SNAP says, so local church officials should disclose their presence in the diocese and “aggressively use church bulletins, parish websites and pulpit announcements to beg those with information or suspicions about crimes or cover ups to call law enforcement.”
According to BishopAccountability.org, there are six proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesting Saginaw area clerics, not including the three clerics SNAP is disclosing today.
They are Robert DeLand Jr., Ronald J. Dombrowski, Richard L. Howard, Jack J. Leipert, Richard T. Szafranski and Leonard F. Wilkuski.
3) SNAP is also urging anyone with information or suspicions about clergy sex crimes or cover ups to contact local law enforcement and Michigan’s attorney general who is investigating all of the state’s dioceses.