Victims Challenge Archbishop to Act
March 15, 2016
Criminal charges have been filed against three Catholic officials who assigned priests to work in the Wheeling-Charleston diocese. We challenge Bishop Michael J. Bransfield to take action to help prosecutors convict these complicit clerics.
Franciscans, including notorious serial predator Brother Stephen Baker, have worked for years in Philippi, WV. A grand jury in Pennsylvania has found that Franciscan officials moved eight accused clerics elsewhere after they were accused of assaulting kids.
Bransfield can do nothing. Or he can issue a strong public plea for Franciscan victims to come forward. And he can turn over to prosecutors every shred of evidence he and his staff may have about Br. Baker to secular authorities.
Who knows what e mail from what Wheeling-Charleston diocesan official to what Franciscan official might be the “smoking gun” that wins a conviction against Franciscan Frs. Giles Schinelli, 73, Robert D'Aversa, 69, and Anthony Criscitelli, who are charged with one count of endangering the welfare of children and criminal conspiracy; each are third degree felony charges.
Regardless of what Catholic officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups – especially by religious order cleric – to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling journalists, get justice by calling attorneys, and get comfort by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will be healed, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will be revealed.