Sex Abuse Victims & Catholics Want Action On Abusive Bishops
Five Years Ago, Former Knoxville Diocese Head Admitted Molesting
He Was The First Bishop To Do So Since The National Clergy Scandal Broke
Across US, Nearly 20 Catholic Other Prelates Are Accused of Child Sex Crimes
Yet Top Church Officials Do Little or Nothing To Protect Children From Them
Predators Arent Being Defrocked or Monitored; Their Whereabouts Are Secret
At news conferences in three cities in three states (Knoxville, St. Louis, and West Palm Beach), clergy molestation victims and concerned Catholics will
-- prod Catholic officials to monitor and disclose information about admitted and allegedly abusive bishops, and
-- prod anyone who experienced, suspected or witnesses misconduct by the bishops to contact police and come forward to therapists and support groups to get help.
Local Tennessee SNAP leader, Susan Vance, will release the letter (http://www.rememberthesurvivors.com/knoxvilleletter030807.htm) sent by SNAP of Tennessee to all the pastors of parishes and principals of Catholic schools throughout the diocese. Vance will deliver a letter to Bishop Joseph Kurtz regarding the removal of all pictures of Anthony J. OConnell from the walls of churches and schools throughout the diocese of Knoxville. Vance will also address issues of release of names of all abusive priests who have served throughout East Tennessee.
Pertinent Tennessee information found at www.rememberthesurvivors.com.
SNAP of Tennessee has used YouTube to get out its message.http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=snaptn
Thursday, March 8, 9:30 a.m.
Outside the Knoxville Catholic diocese headquarters 805 S. Northshore Drive, Knoxville (next to Sacred Heart Cathedral). (865) 584-3307
While dozens of abusive priests have been criminally charged or defrocked, and some are allegedly being monitored, little is being done about the nearly 20 US Catholic bishops who have been accused of child molestation in recent years. This, SNAP leaders feel, puts kids at risk, leaves Catholics in doubt, and impedes healing throughout the church.
Thursday is the five-year anniversary of the resignation of Palm Beach Florida Bishop Anthony O'Connell (formerly of Missouri and Tennessee), the first bishop to be publicly accused of sexual abuse after the national pedophile priest and cover up scandal 'broke' in Boston in January 2002. He is believed to be living at an abbey in South Carolina.
Almost all of the accused abusive bishops have either resigned or retired (except San Diego Bishop Robert Brom). They include two prelates from CA, NY, FL, and MA, and one prelate from HI, GA, MN, WI, NM, KY, WY, IO, IL and MD. Only three (WY, MA and IO) are believed to be facing current litigation.
Victims also want portraits and other honors of these accused bishops taken down in church buildings.
Susan Vance, SNAP (865) 748 3518 or (865) 927 2923
David Clohessy, SNAP (314) 566 9790 cell, Barbara Dorris, SNAP (314) 862 7688
National Director of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
At least some abusive priests have been defrocked.
At least some abusive priests have been prosecuted.
At least some abusive priests are supposedly being "monitored."
At least some abusive priests live in church run housing centers for pedophiles.
To the best of our knowledge, little of this applies or is going on with abusive bishops.
No abusive bishops are being defrocked. Few disclose their whereabouts. Fewer still, we fear, are being monitored. No current church officials even claims that they are actively taking any responsibility for protecting kids from potentially dangerous child-molesting bishops.
And there nearly 20 proven, admitted or credibly accused abusive bishops: Soens in Iowa, Williams in Kentucky, Hart in Wyoming, O'Connell in Florida, Dupre in Massachusetts, Weakland in Wisconsin. (See others on our website: SNAPnetwork.org)
May God have mercy on the souls of today's church officials if one or more of these men have molested again or does molest again, after already having been publicly accused of sexual abuse and in some cases, stepping down because of sexual abuse.
Catholics remain troubled because of the on-going clergy sex abuse crisis. This is one reason why.
Children remain at risk because of the on-going clergy sex abuse crisis. This is one reason why.
The broader, nagging, crucial yet unanswered question centers on prevention and on what must be done with the hundreds and hundreds of complicit church officials. But for now, can't church officials at least take some steps to safeguard innocent kids today from these men?