SNAP Members Hold Demonstration:diocese Responds

July 15, 2010

Several members demonstrated in front of the Weirton parish on Thursday.

WEIRTON -- Members of SNAP , the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, demonstrated in front of Saint Paul Catholic Church in Weirton on Thursday.

The group is questioning why the Bishop of the Wheeling Charleston Diocese notified the public on July 12 instead of July 8, when the Rev. Felix Owino was arrested on sex charges.

Owino is accused of allegedly molesting a girl in Fairfax County, Virginia.

''In your official public statement responding to the arrest you suggested victims contact church staff, not law enforcement officials ''Judy Block Jones said.

Jones was referring to Bishop Michael J. Bransfield's response to the incident.

Jones is concerned because Owino worked at St. Paul and there is an elementary school right behind the church.

Spokesman of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston Bryan Minor told 7 News Thursday that the diocese does take the necessary measures when such an incident should happen. Minor said the diocese goes through a three step process when reporting allegations. First, the diocese will contact civil authorities. Second, a victim outreach program is started. Thirdly, if circumstances warrant, a suspension is necessary.


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