|Catholic Church Excommunicates 2 Mesa Priests; Sex Abuse Victims Respond
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
December 15, 2008
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, national director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915 home)
It's heart-breaking that it's taken so long for Catholic officials to discipline this dangerous predator. Had church officials acted sooner, who knows how many innocent kids and vulnerable teens might have been spared devastating abuse.
As best we can tell, this is the first time in US church history that a pedophile priest has been excommunicated. (Many assume that most predator priests are no longer priests. That's not true. Most have been suspended, but relatively few have been defrocked. Most remain on the church payroll, receiving health insurance, dental benefits, retirement pay, car allowances, housing allowances and other 'perks.')
Fushek's unwillingness to obey church authorities is often typical of predators, who tend to be egomaniacs who consider themselves 'above' the rules for other people. It's sad and telling that this penalty is given not because Fushek molested but because he opened a competing church.
We hope this action helps cut through the denial of families who might otherwise trust their kids around Fushek. We also hope it will inspire others who know about Fushek's crimes to do the right thing: speak up.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the nation's oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We've been around for 17 years and have more than 8,000 members across the country. Despite the word "priest" in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, 314-645-5915 home), Barbara Dorris (314 862 7688)
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