Church, Abuse Group Spar for Second Day

By Virginia Shank
Tribune Chronicle
August 30, 2013

The advocacy group that challenged the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown this week to disclose information about a former parochial school teacher accused of abusing a student has now demanded that local church officials reveal information about a former local priest as well.

For the second day in a row, members of the Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) protested in Youngstown.

The group is asking Bishop George Murry to provide information about where former priest John Warner, 69, is living and if he is still undergoing treatment.

In a written response, the diocese stated that in 2011, local church officials received an allegation against Warner of sexual misconduct with a minor more than 30 years ago.

The allegation was reported to civil authorities and Murry placed Warner on leave of absence, the statement reads.

In the statement, local church leaders explain the allegation was investigated and the findings were presented to the predominately lay Diocesan Review Board, which believed it to be credible.

The bishop then removed Warner from public ministry, made a public announcement of his decision and sent Warner to a facility for treatment, the statement continues.

Church officials said Warner is living in another state in a restricted community, is engaged in ongoing treatment, and Murry has informed the bishop of the diocese in which Warner resides of his history and treatment.

For legal reasons, the diocese cannot disclose his specific whereabouts, the statement reads.

Diocese officials have said that policies and procedures regarding the sexual abuse of minors were followed in every respect.

On Wednesday, a Boardman man, joined by SNAP, said he was abused by a teacher and deacon repeatedly while he was a student at St. Christine School in Youngstown during the mid-to-late 1970s. According to SNAP, Jerry Arnal reported the alleged abuse to Sister Jane Marie Kudlacsz, the principal, in 1987.

SNAP claims Murry told Arnal in 2011 that he hired a private investigator, who found no evidence of molestation. The diocese responded that the deacon accused is no longer working in the diocese "in any capacity."

SNAP officials have not named the deacon they claim abused Arnal. The group also says it has received an anonymous letter claiming the same deacon had sex with a female student at Cardinal Mooney.

The diocese response to Arnal's claim states: "It should also be noted that the accusation was fully investigated, and even though it could not be substantiated, the Diocese of Youngstown has responded pastorally and provided assistance to the accuser. The accuser sent a thank you to the Diocese for their 'concern and attention.'"

Arnal said he saw the deacon's name on Mooney's staff roster list until Tuesday, when it was removed.

Diocese officials stated Arnal "is poorly informed."









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