Sex Abuse Victim Awaits Bishop's Promised Call to His Mom

By Joshua J. McElwee
National Catholic Reporter
July 6, 2011

As part of a sex abuse settlement, an attorney for the Pueblo, Colo., diocese made a promise to John Yengich.

In March, the attorney told Yengich, who was molested by a priest in the diocese between 1968-1969, that Bishop Fernando Isern of the diocese would call Yengich's mother to express remorse over what happened to her son.

Three months later, Yengich's attorney says the call still hasn't happened.

Records given to NCR by the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests show that Yengich's lawyer, Adam Horowitz, has contacted the church's defense lawyer, Timothy P. Schimberg, via email on three separate occasions asking if the call was forthcoming.

In the last email sent to Schimberg, dated June 16, Horowitz writes: "I received an email from John Yenigich informing me that Bishop STILL has not called. How disappointing! That is all I can say."

Katherine A. Chrisman, communications director for the Pueblo diocese said in an emailed statement to NCR that Isern "has been traveling extensively. The chancery has arranged for the Bishop's call to Mrs. Yengich. The Bishop hopes to give Mrs. Yengich a call this week."

David Clohessy, the director of SNAP, said the call is one any bishop "should want to make."

"No victim should even have to ask. And when a bishop promises to make one call, it shouldn't take repeated proddings and three months to do it," he said.

Yengich's lawsuit with the diocese, settled March 17, alleged that Fr. Daniel Maio, since deceased, subjected him to fondling, masturbation, oral sex and sodomy.


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