SNAP - Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests - Tennessee The cover-up of clergy sexual abuse continues . . . how much longer?
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
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
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