|Priest Abuse Addressed in Confession Letter
By Tess Koppelman
November 7, 2011
[the confession statement]
A priest accused of sex abuse has signed a two page confession. It claims church leaders knew about the abuse but the priest continued to have access to kids, including a boys’ choir at Conception Abbey in Missouri.
The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests or SNAP says this confession is evidence that church leaders were more concerned about covering up allegations of abuse than about protecting kids. SNAP is calling attention to Father Bede Parry’s two page confession. They say it’s an example of church leaders failing kids.
“Father Parry admits multiple times to his superiors that he was molesting children,” said Barbara Dorris, Outreach Director for SNAP. “At some point he’s sent for treatment and then put him back in situations where he’s with children.”
Parry admits to one possibly two victims in the 80?s that were part of the Conception Abbey Boys’ Choir. That came after Parry says he’d admitted to three other victims at the Abbey in the 70?s.
“There’s a man who admits he’s molesting kids,” she said. “They admit he’s molesting kids and put him in treatment but say don’t do it again and allow him to work with children that’s beyond reckless and beyond callous.”
SNAP passed out fliers encouraging those who have information about any abuse case to go to the police.
The Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph says it is not named in the lawsuit against Parry, that he was never a pastor in the Diocese and that Parry is no longer a Roman Catholic priest. Parry writes that he was dismissed from the Catholic church and then ordained Episcopalian in 2002. SNAP says Catholic church leadership should have acted sooner to stop abuse.
“All of us are responsible to protect children, all of us,” said Sister Jeanne Christensen with SNAP.
In the confession, Parry begs for forgiveness saying he’s haunted by what he’s done and saying “Not a day passes when I do not regret my conduct.”
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