SNAP Wants Bishops to Monitor Priests

By Dustin Lemmon
Quad-City Times [Iowa]
January 3, 2006

A national organization representing victims of clergy sexual abuse is asking three Catholic bishops to reach out to abuse victims and help them monitor the whereabouts of a priest who is an admitted abuser.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, is sending the requests for help to Bishop William Franklin of the Diocese of Davenport, Bishop Joseph Latino of the Diocese of Jackson (Miss.) and Archbishop Raymond Burke of the Diocese of St. Louis.

The letters concern Rev. William Wiebler, who has admitted molesting several minors during the 1970s and 1980s. Wiebler left the Quad-City area in the 1980s and moved to Mississippi. He recently has been living in the St. Louis area.

Recently an official with the Diocese of Davenport traveled to St. Louis to try to find Wiebler, but failed to find him at his residence and the place where he works. Wiebler never has been convicted of abusing a child, but has been the subject of multiple lawsuits from victims.

According to SNAP, Wiebler has been dressing in a Santa Claus-style hat and wearing red long johns while offering candy to children near his St. Louis home. They claim he's still a threat to kids.

SNAP officials are asking the bishops to do more to warn people about Wiebler's whereabouts and to encourage him to move to a "more remote, secure facility."

The Diocese of Davenport is closed for the holiday season and could not be reached Friday by the Quad-City Times for comment about the letters.

Dustin Lemmon can be contacted at (563) 383-2493 or


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