|SNAP Wisconsin Letter to Jesuit Provincial Concerning Fr. Perry Robinson
SNAP - Wisconsin
March 17, 2011
To: Fr. Tom Krettek, Provincial of the Wisconsin Province, Society of Jesus (Jesuits)
From: Peter Isely, Midwest Director, SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)
Re: Fr. Perry Robinson
I am writing to you on behalf of survivors of childhood rape, sexual assault and abuse by clergy. SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org) is the oldest and largest self help organization of such survivors in the world, founded in 1989 with over 10,000 members in the United States alone.
Last month, Fr. Perry Robinson, a Jesuit member of your province was removed from ministry by a canonical decree by the archbishop of Omaha, George Lucas. The decree was not simply to temporarily suspend Robison from ministry pending an investigation but remove him permanently and irrevocably. This is the most serious action that can be taken against a priest by a bishop.
Archbishop Lucas took this drastic and punitive action against Robinson because he had received at least one new credible report of sexual abuse of a minor which occurred while Robinson was a teacher assigned to Marquette University High School in Milwaukee in the 1980’s. Because Robinson was transferred by church officials out of the state of Wisconsin in 1988, any sexual assault by him while at Marquette High school may still prosecutable under Wisconsin law.
Robinson, as you are well aware, had a prior history of sexual misconduct concerning minors. Robinson was secretly fired from Marquette High in 1988, without public notification or notification to students, families or alumni because the Jesuits were in possession of nude photographs Robinson had been taking of Marquette high school students, purportedly over a period of at least ten years.
It was subsequently learned in 1993, only after a former Marquette High school teacher and two Jesuits in training publically came forward with their concerns about Robinson, that Robinson had been assessed at St. Luke’s Institute, a sex offender and sexual disorders treatment center for clergy, operated by the Catholic Church in Maryland, and returned to the school before the discovery of this particular cache of photographs. Alarmingly, the Jesuits did not turn the photographs over to police but destroyed them. Robinson was then returned to St. Luke’s for a second time and quietly transferred to Omaha in 1988.
While in Omaha, Robinson began in 1989 to “unofficially” work at St. Gerald’s parish in Ralston, Nebraska. In 2002 he was appointed the assistant pastor.
At no time were the parishioners of St. Gerald’s informed of Robinson’s history of sexual misconduct. More alarming, the community of St. Gerald’s has been utterly misinformed and misled about Robinson’s recent and permanent removal from ministry. Additionally, the Marquette High School community has not been alerted to the new actions taken against Robinson.
Your institutional conduct hardly endorse the repeated public promises and guarantees of transparency and accountability by the Jesuits and the archdiocese of Milwaukee concerning the lingering problem of sexual abuse of children by clergy.
Sadly, this is consistent with your refusal to act responsibly on behalf of public safety and create a public registry of the identities and case histories of the members of your religious order who have known histories of sexually assaulting children, especially those that have worked or been assigned to schools like Marquette University High School.
That is why we are asking you again, today, on behalf of any child or student who may have been harmed by Robinson or any other Jesuit sex offender, to:
— immediately turn over to law enforcement all reports, records and evidence of childhood sex crimes by Robinson and other Jesuits to law enforcement,
— apologize for misleading Catholics and the public about Robinson’s second firing from a church assignment for reports of sexual misconduct,
— release Robinsons history of sexual abuse reports and treatment and place him in a secure facility, and
— promise to immediately create a public registry listing all Jesuits at Marquette High and elsewhere with confirmed and credible reports of abusing children.
Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director firstname.lastname@example.org 414.429.7259/
John Pilmaier, SNAP Wisconsin Director Pilmaier@mlwpc.com 414.336.8575/
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