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Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests - Tennessee




Fax sent on November 1, 2003:  Pedophile Bishop's images Still in Catholic Buildings.  Officials Will Leave on Display, Citing "Historical Significance"

Pedophile Bishop's images Still in Catholic Buildings.  Officials Will Leave on Display, Citing "Historical Significance"

November 4, 2003--Images of admitted child molester, former Bishop Anthony J. O'Connell, will NOT be put away anytime soon according to Father Vann Johnston, spokesperson for Bishop Joseph Kurtz of the Catholic Diocese of Knoxville. 

Members of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) have requested that Knoxville Catholic High School remove a picture of O?Connell from the hall.  Principal Aurelia Montgomery says, however, that the image has a place as a part of the history of the school along with other images of persons who have contributed to KCHS.  SNAP codirectors, Susan Vance and Mary Monroe-Ellis, have children who attend KCHS, and both state that having a Pedophile's picture on the wall sends the wrong message to students. 

About 20 feet from the office of present Bishop Joseph A. Kurtz, a bust of O'Connell sits on a table in the hall, flanked by a plaque of the Irish blessing.  It will not be removed either despite pleas from  SNAP.  "The Safe Environment Program implemented in September by the Diocese is negated by this continued displaying of his image," states Monroe-Ellis.  "Victims will not feel safe coming forward to get help in such an environment."

SNAP claims that the presence of an image of a pedophile victimizes the victims of abuse all over again.  SNAP believes that creating an atmosphere of support and understanding is necessary for victims of priest abuse.  "By refusing to remove these images, the Diocese has only highlighted its apparent insensitivity to victims of priest sexual abuse," states Vance. 

David Clohessy, Executive Director of SNAP, wrote Bishop Kurtz and other officials requesting that O'Connell's images be taken down.  Clohessy will hold a press conference in Knoxville for the official inauguration of SNAP of Tennessee in mid November. 


  1. SNAP of Tennessee?s website contains background information in the Press and News Media Area. 
  2. News clip from first interview on the subject can be found in the AV section of

  3. DID YOU KNOW . . .
  1. Knoxville Catholic High School had a principal who was an admitted pedophile.  See article in press section.  (Two Tennessee Pedophile priests).
  2. Tennessee State Directors can arrange statements from its directors or from David Clohessy for your press reports. Call, fax, or email. 

From:  The Tennessee Chapter of the Survivors Network of Those abused by Priests (SNAP)