Monday, September 8, 2008

Sex abuse victims respond to new allegation vs. priest

For immediate release: September 8, 2008

Sex abuse victims respond to new allegation vs. priest

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503
0003 cell)

We are grateful this brave victim's family has reported this predator.
We hope that others who saw, suspected or suffered sex crimes or
misconduct by Fr. Zimmerer will come forward and get help from
independent sources.

Even when the perpetrator is dead, it can be very healing when a victim
unburdens himself or herself of these horrible secrets. Such disclosures
can be an important step forward toward recovering from this devastating
childhood trauma.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the nation's
oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We've been
around for 17 years and have more than 8,000 members across the country.
Despite the word "priest" in our title, we have members who were
molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns,
rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is

Contact David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, 314-645-5915 home), Peter
Isely (414-429-7259) Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Barbara Dorris
(314-862-7688), Mary Grant (626-419-2930), Mark Serrano (703-727-4940)

Posted on Mon, Sep. 08, 2008 Sexual misconduct charge made against late
Decatur priest


A deceased Decatur priest has been accused of sexual misconduct with a
boy three decades ago, Fort Worth Roman Catholic Diocese officials said

The diocese was notified about the allegations against the priest, the
Rev. Francis A. Zimmerer, on Aug. 25, by the man's spouse, diocese
officials said.

"We've received a credible allegation," said the Rev. James Hart,
chancellor of the diocese. "This would have happened when he was 11
years of age, which would be 1978."

Zimmerer, a Benedictine order priest, died in 1983 at age 74. The
alleged victim, who is now 42, lives out of state but was a member of
the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church as a boy. He
was allegedly abused in the priest's rectory.

After being notified of the allegation, Hart contacted the diocese
conduct review board and then Decatur police. The diocese has offered
the man counseling.

Hart contacted the Star-Telegram about the allegation, continuing the
diocese's policy of openly airing allegations of sexual abuse. Hart said
the diocese has received no other allegations against Zimmerer.

Darren Barbee, 817-390-7126

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