Victims Group Praises Texas Diocese
By David Clohessy
February 20, 2014
A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is praising a Texas Catholic diocese for twice seeking out others who may have been molested by a priest.
Once in 2010 (under Bishop Alvaro Corrada) and again this month (Bishop Joseph Strickland), officials in the Tyler diocese used parish bulletins and the diocesan website to notify parishioners about Fr. Robert (Bob) Poandl who was found guilty in September 2013 of molesting a boy in West Virginia. Last week, Fr. Poandl was given a seven and a half year prison sentence.
Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, say they've long prodded the Catholic hierarchy to use their resources to “aggressively seek out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by priests.” Almost never do church officials respond, SNAP says.
And the group is commending the Tyler diocese for doing so.
“Literally thousands of times over the past 25 years, we have begged Catholic officials to reach out to other victims who may still be struggling in silence, shame and self-blame,” said David Clohessy of SNAP. “And we know that some people who have information that could help police catch predators also stay quiet. All of them – victims, witnesses and whistleblowers - should be urged to speak up.”
“Twice, we asked bishops in eight states where Fr. Bob Poandl worked to reach out to others who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by Poandl and may still be struggling in silence,” said SNAP's Judy Jones. “Tyler officials were the only ones to respond positively.”
Fr. Poandl had been transferred at least 30 times over a 44 year career. He worked in eight states: Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Ohio, Georgia, West Virginia, Louisiana and Texas. He has not been defrocked, so he remains on the church payroll.
Poandl's photo and detailed work history are here:
From 1968-1973 at St. Francis in Aberdeen, St. Helen's in Armory, Immaculate Heart of Mary in Houston, St. Theresa's in Okolona, Christ the King in Fulton MS
From 1973-1974 at Mifflintown/Doylesburg PA
3--New Orleans archdiocese
From 1974-1975 at Glenmary House of Studies in New Orleans
From 1975-1979, 1988-1994, 2003-2007, and 2009-2010 at Motherhouse of Glenmary Home Missions in Fairfield
From 1979-1988 at St. Luke's in Dahlonega, St. Paul the Apostle in Cleveland, St. Francis of Assisi in Blairsville, U.S. Ranger Camp in Dahlonega, St. Francis of Assisi in Blairsville, St. Paul the Apostle in Cleveland
From 1994-1999 at Holy Cross in Pittsburg TX
From 1999-2003 at Immaculate Conception in Hugo, St. Jude in Boswell, OK
From 2007-2009 and 2010-2012 at St. Christopher's in Claxton, St. Jude in Glenville, Holy Cross in Pembroke, Our Lady of Guadalupe in Sandhill, GA
In 1991 at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Spencer, WV