WA- Victims challenge archbishop on two clerics

Victims challenge archbishop on two clerics 

One reportedly molested more than 50 children

He's now in Hawaii; the other one's in Washington 

Local Catholic officials are secretive about both predators 

Group praises two Catholic lay people for blasting Sartain 

SNAP: “Other 'church insiders' should also speak up now


Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will blast Seattle's Catholic archbishop over his “reckless and continuing secrecy” in clergy sex cases and urge him to;

– disclose the names, whereabouts and histories of still-hidden child molesting clerics, and

– “aggressively reach out” to anyone who may have been assaulted by them. 

The group will also prod local Catholic church members and employees to

– share what they know or suspect about child molesting clerics with police and the public, and

– ask their loved ones if they were ever hurt by either of the two recently “outed” clerics. 

And they will praise two Seattle men who were on the archdiocesan abuse panel and have recently criticized the local Catholic archbishop for concealing an accused cleric's identity and wrongdoing. 


Thursday, May 15 at 1:00 p.m.     


On the sidewalk outside the Seattle Catholic archdiocesan headquarters (“chancery”) 710 9th Ave. (corner of Cherry St.) in downtown Seattle


Four – six members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)


SNAP is worried about two credibly accused predatory clerics who worked and abused in the Seattle archdiocese but who have attracted little attention until recently. Both are still alive. And both prompt SNAP to worry about how many other proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics

1) Last week, the Seattle Weekly reported that Brother Edward Courtney worked at several Seattle area schools and is accused of molesting 50 children and that several child sex abuse and cover up lawsuits against him may soon settle.


SNAP wants Seattle Archbishop Peter Sartain to use church bulletins, websites and pulpit announcements to seek out others who saw, suspected or suffered Br. Courtney's crimes and urge them to call police and prosecutors so he might be charged, convicted and kept away from kids. This is especially important, SNAP says, because Br. Courtney now lives in Hawaii among families who very likely know nothing about his past and their risk.

2) In late March, SNAP held a news conference in Seattle and disclosed Fr. Harold Francis Quigg had been deemed “unsuitable for the priesthood” by an archdiocesan panel a decade ago because of credible allegations that he “egregiously” abused a then-17 year old in Washington.


Local Catholic officials kept this hidden for a decade, SNAP says.

In response, archdiocesan officials wrote to some parishioners about Fr. Quigg, which prompted an angry meeting last week at St. Bridget’s church (where Fr. Quigg worked from roughly 1989 to 2000). http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitics/2014/05/12/archdiocese-made-astonishing-claim-in-concealing-priests-offenses-review-board-leaders/  


SNAP wants Archbishop Sartain to explain why he and his staff kept the accusations (and the archdiocesan panel's findings) about Fr. Quigg hidden from the public and let him stay among unsuspecting parishioners. SNAP believes Sartain and other Catholic officials are “recklessly, callously and selfishly being secretive and splitting hairs so they can keep hiding a predator priest.”  

(Catholic officials have claimed at the time of Fr. Quigg's offense, church rules said that 16 year olds were considered adults. But the abuse panel said it “would have found that there was sufficient evidence to support the allegation that this priest was involved in the sexual abuse of a minor if the current age of consent law - 18 years old - was in place at that time of this event.”)

Archdiocesan chancellor Dennis O’Leary is familiar with the Fr. Quigg case. Members of the abuse panel include Lucy Berliner (of the Harborview Center), Joan Cole Duffell (of the Seattle-based Committee for Children), Deacon Michael Riggio (of the Catholic Seafarer's Center), Mary Ellen Stone, and Fr. Michael Tyrrell. 

Finally, two former members of the archdiocesan abuse panel -  Judge Terrence Carroll and former U.S. Attorney Mike McKay - have recently criticized Archbishop Sartain over the Fr. Quigg case.


SNAP will praise them for speaking out and urge other past and present church employees and members to do likewise with whatever information or suspicions they may have about clergy sex crimes and cover ups.

Fr. Quigg worked in a number of western Washington towns: Everett (St. Mary Magdalen), Mukilteo (St. John the Evangelist), Kirkland (Holy Family), Seattle (St. James Cathedral), Federal Way (St. Vincent de Paul), Bellevue (Sacred Heart), Renton (St. Anthony), Seattle (St. Bridget) and at Paine Air Force Base. In 1988, he was listed in the Official Catholic Directory as being “on special assignment” - a designation that is often used by bishops to conceal abuse related suspensions.

(According to a priests' directory, Fr. Quigg retired around 2008. His last known address was 2105 Westlake Ave. N. #402, Seattle WA 98109.) 

Br. Courtney worked in Seattle at three parochial schools: O’Dea High School, St. Alphonsus, Lady of the Lake—and later, “despite the church’s knowledge of his serial molesting in their schools, using recommendations from Catholic officials to gain employment at public schools in Tukwila, Parkland, and over in Othello in Adams County, and then on to public schools in Nevada,” according to the Seattle Weekly.

Photos of both Fr. Quigg and Br. Courtney are available at BishopAccountability.org

Fr. Quigg is believed to be living in the Seattle area. SNAP wants Archbishop Sartain to put him in a remote, secure, independently-run treatment center for the safety of others.


Mary Dispenza 425-644-2468 [email protected], David Clohessy 314-566-9790 [email protected], Barbara Dorris 314-503-0003 [email protected]


SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant