|San Bernardino Priest and Former High School Teacher Accused of Abuse
By Joelle Casteix
September 16, 2011
Earlier this week, San Bernardino Diocese officials announced that a retired priest and former high school teacher, Father Robert J. Donat, has been accused of sexual abuse by at least one boy. Donat taught at Aquinas High School. He now lives and works in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
It takes an extreme amount of bravery for a victim to come forward and report abuse by a trusted priest and high school teacher. We hope that if there are any more victims - of Donat or any other priest in the Diocese of San Bernardino or the Archdiocese of Los Angeles - that they come forward and seek help from law enforcement and self-help groups like ours, not church officials.
We also urge church officials to make public any and all information they have on Fr. Donat and warn the community where he currently lives of the allegations of abuse. We also beg them to use all means necessary to reach out to other potential victims and encourage them to call the police. Our experience has shown us that many abusers molest more than one child, and reaching out to victims of Donat - or any other predator - can help keep kids safe right now.
In light of the recent arrest and conviction of Ontario priest Fr. Alex Castillo, we beg parents and Catholics to talk frankly with their children about abuse, talk to their friends about Fr. Donat and Fr. Castillo, and report any seen or suspected abuse to police.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 23 years and have more than 10,000 members. 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)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com), Joelle Casteix (949-322-7434, firstname.lastname@example.org)
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