SNAP News Release Misinformed, Misguided
By Joe Kohn, Director of Public Relations
Archdiocese of Detroit
June 13, 2011
Leaders from the advocacy group named SNAP staged a street-side media briefing Monday, June 13. By default or design, once again information about the Archdiocese of Detroit, provided in a news release and letter from SNAP regarding their "event," is misleading:
Described as being "from Detroit," Bernard Chojnacki is not. He is a native of Poland who was sponsored by the Venice diocese to study at SS. Cyril & Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake. He was not a priest while in Michigan; he was ordained in Florida. As a seminarian in 2009, he provided liturgical assistance during a brief parish internship at St. Damian, Westland. He came on weekends to assist as a lector and with the distribution of communion at scheduled Masses.
The Diocese of Venice issued a statement about Fr. Chojnacki's arrest last week. SNAP notes it "...has no evidence that Chojnacki offended in the Detroit area." Nor does the Detroit archdiocese. No complaints had been brought forward to the Detroit archdiocese about Fr. Chojnacki, nor are any current charges linked to the archdiocese.
Regarding Fr. Knapp, the archdiocese did make a public statement on his status in December of 2010. He is currently without an assignment and helps out in a number of parishes providing Mass coverage.
Regarding Fr. Kaucheck, the statement issued by the archdiocese in April of 2009 still stands.
Since 2002, the Detroit archdiocese has had a model agreement with the six Prosecuting Attorneys within its boundaries. Every complaint brought forward is immediately provided to civil authorities. SNAP knows this, and to suggest otherwise is sadly disingenuous.
Since 1988, the Detroit archdiocese has had a policy to address the sexual abuse of children and young people by members of the Catholic clergy. It has been tested and it works. And it works well. Anyone wishing to bring a complaint forward can do so by calling the Victim Assistance Coordinator at 866.343.8055. Online information available at www.AODcommunications.org.