WA--Victims are skeptical of Archdiocesan predator priest list

For immediate release: Friday, Jan. 15, 2015

Statement by Mary Dispenza of Seattle, Seattle SNAP director (425 941 6001[email protected])

Every time a predator’s name is publicized, kids are safer. But we suspect this is an incomplete list that was prompted by external pressure. Seattle Catholic officials should have disclosed and posted these clerics’ names long ago. Now, they should put them in each parish bulletin, several times a year, and permanently on each parish website.

About 30 US bishops have taken this step, almost always belatedly, grudgingly, incompletely and only because parishioners, prosecutors or lawmakers prod them to do so.


It’s the absolute bare minimum every bishop should do. If a cleric is too dangerous to be working in a church, he is too dangerous to hide from the public.

Catholic officials recruit, educate, ordain, hire, train, transfer and shield predator priests. So when one of these predator priests is “caught,” Catholic officials must do more than just oust them from parishes.

Suspending a credibly accused child molester is just a smart public relations and legal defense move. Responsible officials must do more. They must make it easier, not harder, for parents, parishioners, police, prosecutors and the public to protect kids from these predators by widely and repeatedly sharing what is known about each.

In addition to these predators’ names, Archbishop Peter Sartain should also post their photos, histories and whereabouts. Those who have not been defrocked – and most of them have NOT been defrocked – should be forced to live in remote, secure, independently-run treatment centers far away from the families they have befriended over years of contact.

All too often, proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesting clerics are just suspended from active ministry. That’s simply not enough.

Usually, when bishops post these lists, they refuse to include any child molesting religious order clerics. That’s wrong. About one third of the priests in the US belong to these orders (like Jesuits, Franciscans, etc.) It’s self-serving to omit them. To a kid who is raped by a priest, it doesn’t matter which Catholic official signs the cleric’s paycheck. And every priest who works in the Seattle archdiocese must get the approval of the Seattle archbishop. So to pretend or claim that there’s some crucial distinction between archdiocesan priests and religious order priests is disingenuous.

According to BishopAccountability.org (an independent on-line archive of the church abuse and cover up crisis), the publicly accused child molesting clerics in the Seattle archdiocese are: Gary C. Ashwell, Englebert M. Axer, Edmund j. Boyle, Brother Casale, Dennis Champagne, Michael J. Cody, Paul Joseph Conn, Patrick J. Conway, John Cornelius, Edward C. (Chris) Courtney, Brother Croke, Duffy (First name unknown), George Dwyer, Leonard Feeney, James h. Gandrau, David Jaeger, G.A. Kealy, Dennis W. Kemp, James Knelleken, J.B. Lackie, David Anthony Linehan, John (Jack) Marsh, James McGreal, Patrick Desmond McMahon, James Mitchell, Gerald Moffat, Dennis F. Muehe, O’ Donahue (first name unknown), Patrick G. O’Neill, Brother O’Sullivan, Michael C. OBrien, Harold(Harry)F. Quigg, Edward Receconi, Robert Renggli, Brother (C.P.?) Ryan, James(?) Toner, (First name unknown), Warren.

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

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