NY–Bronx priest admits abuse

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, Jan. 5

Statement by Mary Caplan of New York City leader of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 917 439 4187, mcaplan682@aol.com )

For two full weeks, Catholic officials in New York and Milwaukee have hidden an admission by a priest who worked at a Bronx school that he sexually assaulted kids. Shame on all of them. (See official church statement below.)

On Dec. 22, Fr. Robert Harrison told his Catholic supervisors that he had molested children. He was then suspended from his post at Hayes High School in the Bronx.

But neither of Fr. Harrison’s supervisors – the Capuchins nor the New York Archdiocese – told the public. We hope they promptly told police. But there’s no excuse for them not telling parents, parishioners and the public immediately, especially since the pedophile priest admitted his crimes.

We suspect obviously selfish reasons for the two irresponsible weeks of secrecy. We suspect Catholic officials didn’t want to risk hurting holiday donations. We challenge the Capuchins and Cardinal Timothy Dolan to explain why Catholic officials once again chose to err on the side of secrecy and recklessness rather than the side of openness and safety.

We hope every single person who saw, suspected or suffered crimes by Fr. Harrison or cover ups by his superiors will find the courage to speak up, get help, call police, expose wrongdoing, protect others and start healing.

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.