For immediate release: Friday September 12, 2008
Clergy sex victims slam Catholic archdiocese
Top church officials claim mom had 'affair' with pedophile priest
Group says remarks are "hurtful, deceptive, & intimidating retaliation"
SNAP to archbishop: "Stop blaming innocent victims, start catching fugitive predator"
If Archdiocese 'outs' adult victims, then it should 'out' priests who sexually exploit adults
Self help group advises Catholic parishioners: "See professionals, not priests, for counseling
WHAT: At a news conference, clergy sex victims will harshly criticize top Minnesota Catholic officials for telling reporters that a mom allegedly had 'an affair' with an accused pedophile priest who recently molested a three year old and has since fled the US.
The group wants the local archbishop to
-- apologize for the 'mean-spirited' disclosure,
-- fire the church employee who is responsible,
-- personally visit parishes where the alleged predator worked, and
-- aggressively beg anyone who saw, suspected or suffered his crimes to contact police immediately.
WHEN: TODAY, Friday, Sept. 12, 10:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
WHERE and WHAT TIME
10:00 a.m. in Eagan, outside St. John Neuman church where predator worked (will hand out fliers door to door in neighborhood) 4030 Pilot Knob
11:30 a.m. in St. Paul, Outside the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Catholic headquarters, 226 Summit Ave.
WHO: Two-three clergy sex abuse victims, including a Missouri woman who is the National Outreach Director of a support group for those abused by clergy (SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, SNAPnetwork.org)
WHY: On Wednesday, archdiocese staffers told reporters that a Twin Cities mom had had 'an affair' with, Fr. Francisco Montero (a/k/a Fr. "Freddy"). The remarks were printed in the Pioneer Press yesterday.
Catholic employees made the disclosure on the day a lawsuit was filed against Montero and the archdiocese. It accuses the priest of molesting the mom's three year old daughter and church officials of failing to prevent the crimes. SNAP believes the comments are retaliatory, and intended to 'scare other victims of this predator into keeping silent.' They also believe it's inherently impossible for Catholics to consent to sex with priests because of priests' tremendous power. (Minnesota law makes it illegal for any counselor to have any sex with any patient.)
From 2006 to 2007, Montero, a native of Ecuador, repeatedly molested the girl. He was assigned to live with Fr. Kevin McDonough, the #2 archdiocesan leader.
Montero came to Minneapolis in 2001and worked at Incarnation parish (where the family attended). He gave the mom 'counseling' while abusing her daughter. When Montero was arrested for the abuse, McDonough retrieved some of the priest's clothes and personal items from the mom's apartment and helped Montero leave the US, the lawsuit says. Montero is believed to be working in a parish in Ecuador now.
While in Minnesota, Montero, now 31, also said masses at St. John Newman in Eagan, MN and started a newspaper and radio show, both in Spanish.
The suit, filed Wednesday in Ramsey County, also names the Guaranda Diocese in Ecuador. St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson (651 227 9990, 612 817 8665 cell) represents the girl.
Barbara Dorris of St Louis, SNAP Outreach Director, 314 503 0003
Bob Schwiderski of Wayzata, SNAP Minnesota Director 952 471 3422
David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP National Director 314 566 9790
Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP President, 312 399 4747