Support Group Gets Letter to Jenky

By Michael Miller
Journal Star
November 10, 2006

Peoria - A representative of a sex-abuse survivors group finally got a letter for Bishop Daniel Jenky delivered to a Catholic Diocese of Peoria staff member Wednesday - thanks to a meat delivery.

After speaking to reporters, Barbara Dorris of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests pressed a buzzer at the front door of the chancery, where the bishop's office is located, 607 NE Madison, but said she was told on an intercom that no one could come to the front door to receive the letter.

SNAP representatives have twice before attempted to hand-deliver letters to Jenky, but no one has answered the door.

This time, though, a man delivering a box of meat buzzed the intercom and gave his name. The staffer opened the door to get the box. She then took the letter from Dorris, who asked her to give it to Jenky.

The new letter to Jenky asks him to "hold an open meeting with SNAP" and to urge his priests to do the same across the diocese.

Another SNAP letter being mailed this week to every parish in the diocese asks the pastors to "use pulpit announcements and church bulletins to beg anyone who experienced, witnessed or suspects abuse to call police, prosecutors, therapist or their support group."

The letter says that Jenky was asked in October "to aggressively reach out to anyone with information about clergy sex crimes, whether victims or witnesses. But he has essentially ignored our request."

"It's like they pretend if it doesn't exist, it'll go away," Dorris said Wednesday. "He's (Jenky) hidden behind his defense lawyer, he's hidden behind (public relations) people."

Jenky responded Thursday by sending a letter to parishes telling priests: "This plea was sent out without my authorization and should not be acted upon or responded to by any individual priest and or parish in the Diocese of Peoria. . . . I do not believe that it is appropriate to endorse a particular support group and/or therapist to any victim of abuse."

He also wrote, "I will remain faithful to my promise that all victims of abuse will be offered counseling for as long as it is needed."

"It is my personal conviction that there is no other institution either state, religious or private in central Illinois that does more to protect children and educate adults about the societal problems of child abuse than the Catholic Diocese of Peoria."

Michael Miller can be reached at 686-3106 or


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