For immediate release:
Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008
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 first want to applaud the courage and strength of Fr. Teczar's brave victims, especially Dave Lewcon, who devoted time, energy and effort into getting this dangerous predator off the street. When victims and witnesses speak up, there's at least a chance for healing, justice and prevention. But when they stay silent, predators walk free and kids get hurt. Catholics and citizens, in both Texas and Massachusetts, owe Dave and his caring colleagues a debt of gratitude.
We also want to commend the Texas prosecutors who have agreed to re-try him.
We hope he's found guilty again. Until that happens, we worry about the safety of kids near him, whether in Texas or in Massachusetts, and worry that he'll flee to another country to avoid justice.
At the same time, we condemn Catholic officials who continue to pay him while he exploits legal technicalities to evade responsibility for his horrific crimes, and who pretend to be powerless to protect kids from him even now.
We call on Teczar's boss, Worcester's Catholic bishop, to
-- use his considerable resources (diocesan website, diocesan newspaper, parish bulletins, pulpit announcements) to reach out to anyone with information about Teczar's crimes and urge them to contact Texas authorities, so that he can be even more effectively prosecuted.
-- yank Teczar's passport, if the judge refuses to do it, so that he can be prevented from fleeing overseas and hurting even more kids in even more vulnerable settings (as dozens of pedophile priests have done).
(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 SNAPnetwork.org)
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)