MI–Ray Township Catholic School administrator charged

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release Wednesday, November 26

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 503 0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org )

A Ray Township teacher at Austin Catholic Academy faces allegations that he sent sexually graphic emails to a child. We call on Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron to personally visit the school where the alleged predator worked, begging victims, witnesses, employees, former employees, alumni, students, staff and whistleblowers to call law enforcement if they have any information or suspicions about the alleged crimes.

All too often, child molesters get expensive lawyers, exploit loopholes, and escape responsibility for their crimes. Even when they’re found guilty or plead guilty, they often rally their friends, pressure public officials and end up with little or no jail time. That’s irresponsible. That endangers kids.

The way to prevent this is simple: every person who has even a scintilla of information about Joseph Sturza’s crimes or misdeeds must call 911. This is no time to be complacent. Each one of us has a moral and civic duty to protect children by helping law enforcement catch and convict predators.

And all too often, Catholic officials passively sit back in criminal cases and do nothing. Vigneron has a moral and civic duty too: to use his vast resources (church bulletins, parish websites and pulpit announcements) to reach out to others who may have been hurt by Sturza and prod them to get help.

We commend the parents who had the wisdom to work with law enforcement and not church officials. That is a brave and responsible course of action. And we beg anyone else who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by Sturza or cover ups by church officials to step forward too.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.