WA--Victims blast Spokane priest "innocence" claim
For immediate release Friday April 17, 2015
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)