Remember the

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests - Tennessee




Memphis Man States that Catholic Church Never Reported His Abuse

MEMPHIS, TN Jan. 6, 2005: He reported his abuse to the Memphis Catholic diocese well over two years ago, but the diocese never reported to authorities. A victim of clergy sexual abuse wants Memphis to know that his abuser is still not removed from the priesthood and young people remain in danger.

Wishing to remain a John Doe for now, this Memphis man asks why the diocese has taken his allegations so lightly.

No criminal investigation was ever launched against this priest.

"He is still to this day listed as a priest in good standing in Memphis," states Doe.  "The people of Memphis will be outraged when they know who has been in their midst and how little concern the diocese has shown for the welfare of young people."

SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) has been helping John Doe and other Memphis clergy abuse victims.

"Until SNAP members came to town, no police report had been made," states Doe.  "They helped me get help from the Shelby County Victim Assistance Office and together we filed a police report."

"The same callous approach of the Memphis diocese is happening across Tennessee," states Susan Vance, co-director of SNAP of Tennessee.  "We are fighting a cover-up by Church officials in every diocese, and that includes all three of the Tennessee diocese."

In March 2004, Bishop J. Terry Steib of Memphis stated that the diocese reported for the John Jay Study that there were seven allegations of abuse by priests since the founding of the diocese in 1971. The John Jay Study was a national study on clergy abuse commissioned by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.

These seven priests reported by Steib have not been made public so far by the diocese.

"The Secret Seven list. Who are these priests? Why has the diocese of Memphis gotten away with not telling the people who these abusers are?" states Ann Brentwood, also a SNAP of Tennessee director.  "The people should be rising up in horror and demanding to know who are the Secret Seven."

Doe states that his abuser might have already been reported. He has no way of knowing. He wants to know the Secret Seven.

"I can add another name to the list of abusers," states Doe.  "I want the diocese of Memphis to tell us the truth."

SNAP can be reached through their website  

Vance and Brentwood have email and telephone numbers listed there and encourage any and all victims of clergy abuse to contact them.

Submitted by Susan Vance