For immediate release: February 5, 2019
A priest who worked in the Nashville Diocese from 1958-1971 was among the clerics listed last week as "credibly accused" by the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Fr. Anthony G. Stredny was a priest in the Diocese of Nashville from 1958-1971, when he transferred to the Texas Archdiocese. The list of "credibly accused" clergy from the Nashville Diocese currently has 16 names, not including Fr. Stredny, who was removed from ministry by the Houston Archdiocese in 1993 and died in 2018.
Using the Official Catholic Directory, SNAP has found that Fr. Stredny worked in the following Tennessee parishes from 1958 to 1971:
1958: Holy Ghost, Knoxville
1959: Holy Rosary, Memphis
1960: Holy Rosary, Memphis
1961: Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Chattanooga
1962: Blessed Sacrament, Harriman
1963: Blessed Sacrament, Harriman
1964: Blessed Sacrament, Harriman
1965: Blessed Sacrament, Harriman
1966: Blessed Sacrament, Harriman
1967: Blessed Sacrament, Harriman
1968: Blessed Sacrament, Harriman
1969: On duty outside the diocese, St. Mary's Church, Texas City TX
1970: On duty outside the diocese, St. Mary's Church, Texas City TX
1970: On duty outside the diocese, 501 Tidwell Road, Houston TX*
*St. Charles Borromeo Church
"The 'on duty outside the diocese' label can be perfectly innocent," says Tennessee SNAP Leader Susan Vance, "but it can also be a clue that the Church is employing the 'geographic solution' to deal with a problem clergyman."
"Is Fr. Stredny's secret canonical file in Nashville or Galveston-Houston?" Vance asks. "There may be information of earlier allegations in it that were never reported to police. Victims of clergy sexual abuse in both states, and the public, should want to see those documents."
Including Fr. Stredny, 5 of the 17 Nashville clergy now deemed "credibly accused" of child sexual abuse were sent across state lines to 7 different states:
Fr. Walter Emala: Maryland and Pennsylvania
Fr. Paul Frederick Haas: Arkansas and Kentucky
Fr. James A. Kemper: New Mexico
Fr. Joseph Reilly: Georgia
Fr. Anthony G. Stredny: Texas
The image below was taken from the website of the diocese of Galveston-Houston. (See more below picture).
"We need a statewide investigation of all three Tennessee dioceses to uncover more information about the interstate trafficking of priests who abuse children," Vance concluded.
"Investigate the Dioceses of Knoxville, Nashville and Memphis to get the truth," urged David Brown, SNAP leader in Memphis. "What we see in Nashville is also true in Memphis and Knoxville, and we are zeroing in on getting that statewide investigation. However, with the crossing of state lines, an FBI investigation is not out of the question."
SNAP urges anyone who suffered, saw or suspected clergy sexual abuse in Tennessee to make an immediate report to local law enforcement, as well as sending the information to the Tennessee Attorney General and prodding him to begin a state-wide investigation. Victims, witnesses and whistle blowers can reach out to SNAP, or groups like ours, for support as they come forward.
CONTACT: Susan Vance, SNAP Tennessee Leader (firstname.lastname@example.org, 865-748-3518),
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)