For immediate release: Thursday, September 11, 2008
Clergy sex abuse victims question 'suspended' priest
New internal church document warns bishops about him
But public & parishioners should also be alerted, group says
Newark's archbishop is accused of breaking pledge to be open on sex cases
SNAP also want archdiocese to post names, photos & addresses of predators
Self help group releases list of a dozen pedophile priests who've recently re-offended
At a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will publicly urge Newark's high profile and controversial Catholic archbishop to
-- disclose why a new, internal church document warns US bishops about a suspended Newark priest, &
-- also warn parishioners about the priest, and
-- post the names, photos and addresses of admitted, proven and credibly accused pedophile priests on his website.
This is crucial, victims feel, because some of the nation's thousands of suspended but largely unsupervised pedophile priests are starting to break laws in other ways.(They'll release a fact sheet detailing this trend.)
Thursday, Sept. 11, 2:15 p.m.
Outside the Newark archdiocese headquarters ('chancery'), 171 Clifton Ave., in downtown Newark, NJ
Two clergy sex abuse victims including a Missouri man who is the long time national director of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)
A Catholic church 'insider' and employee recently has provided SNAP with a brief, confidential notice sent by the national church headquarters to all American bishops. It warns about a Newark priest, Fr. Daniel Medina, who has been suspended since 2002 and has been instructed to no longer present himself as a priest in public. In church circles, this language is used to describe alleged or confirmed pedophile priests.
There apparently is no criminal or civil legal action against Medina. But New Jersey citizens and Catholics, SNAP feels, deserve to know why he's been suspended, what his status is, and his current whereabouts.
SNAP also wants Archbishop Myers to post on his archdiocesan website the names and photos of all proven, admitted and credibly accused predator priests, like the Philadelphia archdiocese does. Myers should go a step further, SNAP says, and also list the pedophiles' addresses.
While hundreds of the roughly 5,000 US pedophile priests have died or are locked up, most now quietly live unsupervised, on their own, in neighborhoods unaware of their crimes.
Bishops often recruit, educate, ordain, hire, supervise, transfer, shield, and defend predator priests. So when they're suspended, SNAP feels church officials have a moral and civic duty to centrally house and oversee them in remote, secure, widely publicized and professionally-run centers so that the predators get treatment and kids are protected.
SNAP's fact sheet describes re-offending priests from Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Louisiana, Delaware, Iowa, Wisconsin, Massachusetts and Missouri.
From 1999-2000, Medina worked at Blessed Sacrament Church in Elizabeth.(under a sexually abusive pastor, Msgr. Peter Cheplic, who faces at least three accusers) and in 2002 at St. Aloysius in Jersey City. In 2001, his name disappeared from the Official Catholic Directory and from 2004, 2005 and 2005, he's listed in that book as being at the chancery office in Newark.
David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP National Director (314) 566 9790 cell
Mark Crawford of Woodbridge Township, NJ SNAP Director (732) 632 7687 cell
Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP Outreach Coordinator (314) 862 7688 home
Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP Founder and President (312) 399 4747 cell