WA--Victims blast Spokane priest "innocence" claim

For immediate release Friday April 17, 2015

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]

Today, in Spokane the acting head of the diocese, the Rev. Michael Savelesky, announced that he was restoring a suspended and accused, several times, predator priest back to ministry. While several charges against Rev. Joseph Weitensteiner, the former director of Morning Star Boys Ranch, were taken to trial others were investigate outside of the courts in secret by an individual, hand-picked by the bishop. No details were given about the unusual and untested process (Did the panel interview the accuser? How many other people did the panel talk with?) SNAP wants diocesan officials to be more forthcoming about the procedure he used in this case and others.  

SNAP believes the diocese should work much harder to urge anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered misdeeds by Weitensteiner to come forward.




We commend these brave victims for having found the courage to come forward. It is never easy to report abuse especially when the predator is a trusted member of the clergy. These boys were already extremely vulnerable when they when they were sent to Morning Star Ranch, a perfect situation for predators.

(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]


Showing 2 comments

  • Iain Pattison
    commented 2015-04-20 14:30:22 -0500
    I agree with SNAP, these victims really are truly brave to come forward and accuse a respected member of society, a trusted Christian cleric.
    Hopefully these victims will have healed sufficiently and will now be survivors.
    I think the day is coming, if it hasn’t already arrived, when clerics (of any denomination) aren’t as readily trusted and respected. Serves them right for abusing that trust and respect.
  • @ tweeted this page. 2015-04-17 12:20:18 -0500

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