WA–Spokane bishop quietly suspends accused priest

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Oct. 30

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com )

Weeks ago, Spokane’s top Catholic official quietly suspended a credibly accused predator priest. But Bishop Blasé Cupich notified only his flock, not the public. He refused to disclose when the allegations surfaced. He urged other victims to call church officials, not secular authorities. And he made no mention of possible criminal prosecution or of the need for Catholics and citizens to share what they know about the priest with law enforcement. This is disturbing and reckless.

[Spokane diocese]

Though Fr. Daniel Wetzler’s suspension took effect on Oct. 1, no word of it was circulated, apparently, until Oct. 16 when a notice was printed on page eight of the Spokane diocesan newspaper, the Inland Register. Nothing was said about helping police and prosecutors build a criminal case against Fr. Wetzler.

As best we can tell, Cupich did not hold a news conference or issue a news release about the accusations. He didn’t say when the victim reported the abuse, which is an important fact. (Did it take months or years for Cupich to act?)

Only yesterday did the public learn about the credible child sex accusations through a small article in the Spokesman-Review, a secular daily newspaper.

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