Church leaders, abuse survivors speak out after arrest of Findlay priest

WNWO 24 News

August 19, 2020

By Sophia Perricone

St. Catherine of Siena’s Reverend Francis Speier is speaking out following the arrest of Findlay priest Michael Zacharias who once served at St. Catherine.

“I know Father. We run in different circles,” Speier said. “He’s a lot younger than I am so his social circle is a lot different than mine.”

Zacharias was arrested Tuesday morning on multiple sex trafficking charges and court documents reveal he met at least two of his victims at St. Catherine.

Speier says he’s angry about the abuse that has continued over decades, wondering why history continues to repeat itself.

“I would’ve thought by now, guys would have gotten smart, stopped what they’re doing, own up for their actions and move on.

The Catholic Diocese of Toledo put Zacharias on administrative leave. But Claudia Vercellotti, a survivor of church sexual abuse, wants more.

“Take down the tributes inside church entryways and on websites that pay special tribute to clerics, priests and other church leaders [about whom] credible allegations of clergy sexual abuse exist,” Vercellotti said.

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.