SAN ANTONIO (TX)
San Antonio Express-News [San Antonio TX]
June 23, 2021
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests is urging community leaders to aggressively search for sexual abuse victims and to add 12 Marianist clergy members’ names to the Archdiocese of San Antonio’s list of those accused of committing it.
Self-described clergy abuse survivors and advocates with SNAP gathered Wednesday outside the archdiocese’s headquarters on Woodlawn Avenue to bring public attention to their demands, calling on Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller and St. Mary’s University President Thomas Mengler to take action.
The archbishop “must include these 12 new names on the archdiocese list and its website, parish announcements and newsletters,” SNAP officials said in a news release. “He should be speaking at every school, parish and retreat center in the San Antonio area where these Marianist priests worked. Mr. Mengler should write to (all) alumni who attended St. Mary’s University during the time these accused predators worked there.”
Only three credibly accused Marianists, two of them now deceased, have ever served at St. Mary’s, university officials said.
“President Thomas Mengler has taken action to address abuse issues in a variety of ways and has included SNAP in those efforts,” a university spokeswoman said.
Mengler has previously communicated twice with all St. Mary’s alumni to share the lists of Marianists who have been credibly accused of abusive acts against minors, and the university also hosted a public symposium in 2019 to raise awareness among its community and the broader public on the issue, she said.
SNAP officials said García-Siller and Mengler “should use their positions of authority to demand” that Father Oscar Vasquez, the leader of the U.S. province of the Society of Mary, “make the list usable for anyone trying to track their abuser. The list should include photos, dates of assignments, details of the accusations and current location (if they are still alive.) Then, include this information on our local list.”
The 12 additional accused Marianist clergy all lived and worked in San Antonio at some point during their careers. The order published their names, assignments and other information in December; the list can be found on this website: List-of-Marianist-members-found-to-have-sexually-abused-a-minor121720.pdf.
SNAP urges anyone who has seen, suspected or suffered abuse at the hands of clergy members to report the activity to law enforcement, no matter how long ago it occurred. SNAP provides peer support to victims and witnesses of such trauma. The group’s website is snapnetwork.org.
Mengler served as vice chair of an independent lay commission that reviewed the Archdiocese’s policies and practices and reported its findings to the archbishop and the public.
He was recently appointed to the National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People, which collaborates with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to prevent sexual abuse of minors by people serving the Catholic Church.