Il- Victims Want Joliet Bishop Ousted
By David Clohessy
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
April 29, 2013
Holding signs and childhood photos, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will
--blast Joliet’s top Catholic official for letting a suspended predator priest live and work freely among unsuspecting Kentucky families,
--urge Chicago’s top Catholic official to disclose where dozens of local suspended predator priests now live, and
--prod both prelates to put all their child molesting clerics in secure treatment centers away from children.
They will also ask Chicago’s Cardinal George to help oust Joliet’s Bishop Conlon from his post as head of the US bishops’ child sex abuse committee.
Monday, April, 29, at 2:30 p.m.
Three-four members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a St. Louis man who is the group’s long time executive director
Outside the Chicago Archdiocese headquarters, Archbishop Quigley Center, 835 N. Rush Street, Chicago, IL
On Friday, the Chicago Tribune reported that a Chicago area priest, suspended for sexually abusing Illinois boys, still lives and works - unsupervised - in a remote, depressed area of eastern Kentucky. While in Kentucky, the cleric – Fr. Carroll Howlin - molested two more boys, one of whom committed suicide.
SNAP suspects that other Chicagoland predator priests - perhaps dozens of them – are, like Fr. Howlin, not monitored and are living and working among colleagues and families who are unaware of their crimes. (According to BishopAccountability.org, some 112 Chicago archdiocesan priests - and another 38 in Joliet - are proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesters.) SNAP wants both Chicago Cardinal Francis George and Joliet Bishop Daniel Conlon to disclose where other pedophile priests are living and move them to secure sex offender treatment and housing facilities.
Joliet Catholic officials, after suspending Fr. Howlin in 2002, basically ignored him. But they let Chicago area parishes collect money for his alleged “ministry” to the poor (even after a Joliet pastor warned church officials that Fr. Howlin was putting church donations in his personal bank account). Fr. Howlin, according to the Tribune, allegedly used money to garner sexual favors from impoverished boys. In theory, Catholic officials have ordered Fr. Howlin to stay away from kids. In reality, the Tribune article reveals, they’re doing nothing to make sure this happens.
SNAP believes Joliet Bishop Daniel Conlon should order Fr. Howlin to get into a sex offender facility. The group also wants Chicago Cardinal Francis George to disclose the whereabouts of his predator priests and similarly insist they all live at a treatment center for predators.
Conlon should also, SNAP says, go to every parish where Fr. Howlin worked, begging victims to come forward. He should give every shred of paper he has about Fr. Howlin to law enforcement, in Illinois and Kentucky.
One ousted Chicago area predator priest (Fr. Vincent Bryce) admitting molesting a child but now works in St. Louis on the edge of a Catholic college campus. In 2010, a credibly accused Texas predator priest (Fr. Frank Paduch) was found working in Berwyn across the street from a school. In 2003, a criminally convicted Delaware priest (Fr. Kenneth J. Martin) was found living in Cardinal George’s home and working in the Chicago archdiocese.That same year, (Fr. John D. Murphy) was found working at the Shedd Aquarium.
And yesterday, the Newark Star-Ledger reported that a New Jersey priest whose criminal convicting on child sex charges was overturned on a technicality, repeatedly violated an agreement with a prosecutor that he be kept away from kids.
SNAP acknowledges that prelates like George and Conlon have little control over pedophile priests once they’ve been defrocked. But the group believes that most ousted predator priests are still on the church payroll and therefore can be controlled by church officials. (Only a small percentage of child molesting clerics are ever fully defrocked, SNAP maintains.)
Finally, SNAP wants George to use his clout to help oust Conlon from his position as chair of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops sex abuse committee.
The Tribune based its article on thousands of pages of long-secret church records recently disclosed thanks to civil child sex abuse lawsuits in the Joliet Diocese.