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Remember the Survivors

SNAP - Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests - Tennessee
The coverr-up of clergy sexual abuse continues . . . how much longer?.
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Letter to Diocesan Administrator - 09/12/05

September 12, 2005

Reverend Father David Choby
Diocesan Administrator
The Catholic Center
2400 Twenty-first Avenue South
Nashville, TN. 37212
 
Dear Father Choby:
 
If the protection of children and the transparency is the primary goal in order to regain credibility for the church, then an open, honest and forthright acknowledgement of the truth in the clergy abuse scandal is imperative.  

What are the names of the clergy who have abused?  We request that the names of all perpetrator priests be released with all pertinent related information including assignments, dates of abuse, status of the priests, disposition of cases, and present location of offending clergy.

Two priests, Paul St. Charles and David Kelley, have been living in the neighborhoods of the Nashville area.  Both priests came from other dioceses, Paul St. Charles having originated in the Nashville diocese. Both priests have allegations of abuse against them.  The diocese of Memphis knew of the abuse of Paul St. Charles.  The diocese of Cincinnati knew of the abuse of David Kelley.  Both priests were allowed to move here:  St. Charles to Nashville and Kelley to Clarksville.  Did the diocese of Nashville not have the responsibility to protect children and teens?  

We request your attention to the following:
Did the diocese of Nashville receive proper notification about Paul St. Charles and David Kelley?  

Did the diocese of Memphis properly report to Nashville about the abuse of Paul St. Charles?  Is there documentation to that effect?  When the diocese of Memphis recommended the defrocking of Paul St. Charles, what did the diocese of Nashville do to notify the people and to protect children and teens?

Did the diocese of Cincinnati properly report to Nashville about the abuse of David Kelley?  Is there documentation to that effect?
Did the diocese of Nashville know that David Kelley had 38 civil lawsuits pending from his sexual abuse victims?  What did the diocese of Nashville do to protect children and teens from this abuser since public awareness was raised in October 2004?  

Are there any other sex-offending clergy who have been allowed by this diocese or other dioceses to live in our neighborhoods and put our children and teens in danger?

 
In regard to issues that SNAP has previously asked:
Is seven the correct number of perpetrating priests?  If not, how many sex-offending clergy have there been in the diocese?
Who are these perpetrating priests?
What are their names (living or deceased)?
Where did they serve and when did they serve?
Why have the people not been notified about who they are and where they served?
Is it not the right of the people of the diocese, indeed of the whole state of Tennessee, to know who these perpetrators are?  
Have they been removed from ministry?
What is their present status and location?
Have any been defrocked?
Have any perpetrating priests been moved to other dioceses?  Were these dioceses notified?  Were the people of these other dioceses notified?  Were the authorities notified?
How many allegations brought forward by victims were deemed noncredible in this diocese?
Have all allegations brought forward by victims been heard by the diocesan review board?
Have all the allegations brought forward by victims been reported to authorities?
Is it the policy of this diocese to allow all allegations to go before the review board?  

Clergy sexual abuse is a crime and, as such, should be reported to law enforcement officials.  Any determination of the credibility of an accusation must be established by the legal authority, not by any bishop or diocesan review board.

We will be unrelenting in our efforts to provide compassionate, caring concern to the many who have suffered such injustice.  Because these crimes have been perpetrated by the church, anything less than the complete and full truth is unacceptable.
 
Thank you for your consideration of these serious issues.  We respectfully ask that a public response be made to these questions.  
 
Sincerely,
 
Susan Vance, SNAP of Tennessee, 8324 South Burchfield Dr., Oak Ridge, TN  37830    865-748-3518

Ann Brentwood, SNAP of Tennessee, 3142 Harrington Court, Maryville, TN  37803    865-607-6119