Victims push for new abuse probe; D.C. Presser 8/13 1:30pm
Victims push for new abuse probe
They ask DC AG to open investigation
SNAP: 'Dozens of abusers are/were here but remain hidden'
And they prod DC’s archbishop to reveal more predators
Holding signs and childhood photos, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will hold a sidewalk news conference revealing the names of the "DC's Most Dangerous Dozen Child Molesting Clerics" - 12 proven, admitted &/or credibly accused predator priests who
--are still alive and presumably a threat to children now,
--are or were working and or living in the District of Columbia BUT
--are NOT on the official DC Catholic archdiocesan 'credibly accused' list.
They will also release copies of two letters they're sending:
--one to DC Attorney General Brian Schwalb, urging him to launch a 'thorough, full-scale investigation, like 25 other AGs across the US have done, into Catholic clergy sex crimes and cover-ups in the Washington DC archdiocese,’ and
--one to DC Cardinal Wilton Gregory, urging him to add those names, and dozens of others, to his “woefully inaccurate and inadequate” list of 'credibly accused' abusive clerics on the archdiocesan website.
Seven-eight victims of clergy sexual abuse who belong to a support group called SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), including the group's veteran/volunteer Maryland director
Sunday, August 13 at 1:30 p.m.
On the sidewalk outside the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, 1725 Rhode Island Ave NW in Washington DC
1) Using court documents, church records, mainstream media reports, SNAP has discovered more than 30 proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesting Catholic clerics who are or were in the DC archdiocese but are NOT on the official Washington DC archdiocese ‘credibly accused’ list, which is here: https://adw.org/about-us/resources/accused-clergy/
The group is releasing a detailed list of “DC’s Most Dangerous Dozen Child Molesting Clerics,” 12 such predator priests. All of them are still alive, have been ousted from active ministry and are on one or more official Catholic "credibly accused" lists in other jurisdictions across the US. Some have been convicted of child sex crimes, a few more than once.
None of them, however, are on DC Cardinal Wilton Gregory's website, despite a 20-year-old, purportedly binding, nation-wide church policy that mandates 'openness and transparency' about clergy sexual abuse. (In recent years, in dozens of other US dioceses, SNAP has found similar 'disturbing deficiencies” in church accused predator lists. The group has held events like this prodding bishops to add more child molesting clerics to their lists. Several of them have later quietly done so.)
These DC offenders "are likely living - unsupervised and unmonitored and undetected - among unsuspecting neighbors and perhaps co-workers, ingratiating themselves into trusting families and perhaps molesting their kids," SNAP contends.
SNAP's list includes links showing where each of the 12 abusers lived or worked, here and elsewhere, and particulars about each man and his crimes.
"To help protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded," SNAP is urging Cardinal Gregory to "honor your pledges, safeguard your flock and comfort hundreds of still-suffering now-adult victims" by disclosing these men’s names and details of their tenure in DC on his archdiocesan website.
2) About 25 state attorneys general (most recently in Maryland and Illinois) have pursued or are pursuing investigations into clerics who have committed or concealed child sex crimes. Some of these result in criminal prosecutions (at least 11 in Michigan). Almost all the investigations have produced lengthy, shocking reports “documenting widespread recklessness, callousness and deceit by Catholic officials," SNAP says. (Maryland’s report exposes 156 predator priests in 463 pages; Illinois' exposes 451 predator priests in 696 pages.)
The group is asking DC AG Brian Schwalb to immediately launch a similar investigation in the District.
3) Noting that "times have changed and society is more sympathetic to abuse victims now," SNAP will also beg "anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover-ups, no matter where or how long ago" to contact law enforcement and "seek help from independent sources, like therapists, loved ones or support groups" instead of church officials who they say "are still hiding and aiding those who commit them."
Copies of SNAP's letters to Schwalb and Gregory are available at davidclohessy.com and will be added soon to “Media Statements” at SNAPnetwork.org and also available at the news conference.
(An independent archive group has a list of publicly accused child molesting DC clerics here: https://www.bishop-accountability.org/dioceses/usa-dc-washington/)