Advocates for Victims Aim to Put a Spotlight Back on Priest Abuse in Portland
By Kellee Azar
March 19, 2016
A local priest is still on the job weeks after a civil complaint was filed alleging he sexually abused a Portland boy for over 10 years.
The man claims he was sexually abused by Father Vogt at Holy Rosary Church in Northeast Portland when he was an altar boy.
Bill Crane and David Clohessy work for Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) helping victims of abuse in the Catholic Church. The recent complaint in Portland against Holy Rosary brought them to the steps of the church.
"It says that there were at least 10 times Father Vogt physically molested a boy and fondled him -- at least 50 times kissed the boy on the mouth," SNAP Director David Clohessy said.
In the complaint, the victim says he told church leaders about the abuse as it was happening.
"It's just heartbreaking when supposedly responsible adults ignore or disbelieve a report from a child about sexual abuse. It's just heartbreaking," Oregon SNAP Director Bill Crane said.
Crane says it happens all too often.
"It was communicated to me by coming forward or going to law officials, even talking to my parents, that sin would be greater than what had happened to me," Crane said.
Both Crane and Clohessy say they were victims of abuse in the Catholic Church.
"When I was a kid I couldn't protect myself, I couldn't protect my three younger siblings who were abused by the same priest," Clohessy said.
"I was introduced with alcohol and basically being sedated and put into very vulnerable situations," Crane said.
By standing out front with sign they want to put a spotlight back on the issue and encourage other victims to come forward.
"They are not alone in the shame they endured," Crane said.
"It doesn't have to be like that. Therapy really helps, support groups really help," Clohessy said.
If you have been a victim Clohessy and Crane suggest you reach out to the SNAP program.