|Clergy Sex Victims Pass out Fliers in Hyde Park
October 20, 2010
Clergy sex victims try to buy outreach ads
Self help group also hands out fliers in Hyde Park
A recently-suspended predator worked in Chicago
A California bishop told his flock about the allegation
But Cardinal George says nothing about accused abusive cleric
SNAP: “Cardinal ignores Pope’s words & his own promise of ‘openness”
“If George won’t find & help the wounded, we’ll do it ourselves,” victims say
After a sidewalk news conference, while holding signs & childhood photos, clergy molestation victims will
-hand-deliver fliers door-to-door about a recently-suspended predator priest,
-try to run ads in local parish bulletins and diocesan publications alerting others about him, and
-harshly criticize local Catholic officials – in Chicago, Joliet, and five other cities - for doing little or nothing to warn parents and the public about the accused child molester.
WHEN: Wednesday, Oct. 20, 1:15 p.m.
WHERE: Outside the St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic parish, 5472 S. Kimbark Avenue (773 324 2626) in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood
WHO: Several clergy abuse victims who belong to a support group called SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, SNAPnetwork.org)
WHY: Cardinal Francis George and his staff are apparently keeping silent about a recently-suspended predator priest who worked recently in two local dioceses – Chicago and Joliet.
In May, Fr. Kevin M. McBrien was temporarily removed from his post at St. Matthew Church in Glendale Heights IL (in the Joliet diocese) for allegedly molesting a boy. In 2007 and 2008, McBrien worked at this parish - St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic parish in Hyde Park.
Over the past five months, however, neither George nor any other Catholic official has disclosed, discussed or publicized McBrien’s whereabouts. Nor have any archdiocesan staff said anything about a supposed church probe into the accusations, nor aggressively sought to find and help any other victims, witnesses or whistleblowers.
(On the other hand, Sacremento’s bishop, where McBrien was in the 1990s, DID make announcements about the allegation at the parish where McBrien worked.)
SNAP believes that George’s secrecy violates the “spirit” (if not the “letter”) of the US bishops’ national sex abuse policy, which mandates “openness” in clergy sex cases. The group also feels it contradicts the Pope’s recent pledge to “do everything possible” to prevent future clergy sex crimes and the pontiff’s claim that “(helping) the victims overcome trauma is the church's first priority.”
Next month, George steps down as head of America’s Catholic bishops. So SNAP wants him to end his three year reign by aggressively reaching out to anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by McBrien, or any cleric, to come forward, get help and call police so that McBrien might be prosecuted and jailed. Specifically, the group wants George to post explicit invitations on archdiocesan and parish websites and publications, urging those who may have been hurt by McBrien to call law enforcement.
And SNAP wants George to lean hard on McBrien’s most recent supervisors – Joliet’s bishop and a Catholic religious order called the Carmelites - to disclose the status of the so-called church investigation into the allegations.
SNAP will try to purchase small ads in church publications to reach out to other McBrien victims.
McBrien also worked in seven US dioceses, including Newark NJ, Sacramento CA, Galveston-Houston TX, Los Angeles CA, and Phoenix AZ. According to the Official Catholic Directory, there are at least two suspicious gaps in his assignment history – years in which he is not included at all in this listing. McBrien was ordained in 1970 and worked at several Catholic schools. As best SNAP can tell, he faces no civil or criminal action.
McBrien is accused of molesting a boy at Joliet Catholic High School roughly 30 years ago
Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP President 312 399 4747 SNAPblaine@gmail.com
David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP Director 314 566 9790 SNAPclohessy@aol.com
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