|Group Asks Catholic Diocese of LR to Release Names of Predator Priests
By Sandra Kirk
October 17, 2007
Members of a group known as SNAP, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, say a pedophile priest was moved from Tennessee to Arkansas in order to teach. Victims gathered outside Catholic High School off University Wednesday to tell their story. FOX16's Sandra Kirk learned how SNAP is helping other victims.
The priest no longer teaches at Catholic, he died in 1978. But this chapter of SNAP started in Arkansas just two months ago, to serve as a support group for clergy sex abuse victims. Now, they want people to know they're here and want more victims to come forward.
David Brown, West Tennessee SNAP Coordinator, remembers Father Paul Haas in vivid detail. "He had a tendency of wearing sandals and back in the 60's that was cool and he would pin a live bumble bee on his shirt...and that was one of his lures to attract children."
But Brown wishes that some of his memories of the high school science teacher would just vanish.
"I would feel his whiskers and stale smoky breath on the back of me as he was raping me," he says.
Brown was abused as a student here at Father Ryan High in Nashville, Tennessee.
"He left a wake of destruction in his path. And there's no reason to believe it was any different here," says Brown.
According to SNAP, Haas was transferred to Catholic High in Little Rock in 1965 where he taught for a year. Bishopaccountability.org reports Haas was then transferred to Kentucky and died in 1978.
"The hardest part is being believed. I was silent for over 35 years before I ever spoke about my abuse. Then it was another 9 years before I told what he really did to me. I was so ashamed, so embarrassed by it," says Brown.
But now Brown feels empowered and wants to help others who suffered the way he has.
"If there are people out there that are victims that have been abused that need help and aren't sure where to turn, we're here."
SNAP also is also asking Catholic officials in Arkansas to release names of priest predators. I called the Catholic Diocese of Little Rock and I'm told the Monsignor is working on a statement.
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