IN--Victims push Indiana archbishop to act on abuse

By David Clohessy
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
July 29, 2015

A Catholic employee has been arrested for alleged child sex abuse and Indianapolis’ archbishop must do more to help law enforcement prosecute him.

Oscar Vasquez-Guzman, religious education director at St. Anthony Catholic Church, was charged Tuesday with molesting two boys as recently as two weeks ago.

Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin claims he’s “cooperating” with law enforcement and has notified St. Anthony parishioners of the charges. That’s not enough. He and his staff should use their vast resources – parish bulletins, church websites and pulpit announcements to seek out anyone else who saw, suspected, suffered or hid Vasquez-Guzman’s crimes.

Vasquez-Guzman may have assaulted kids at several parishes or non-Catholic kids. So Tobin should hold a news conference begging victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to call police and prosecutors.

Tobin also claims he’s “cooperating” with law enforcement. Again, that’s not enough. Catholic officials make this claim all the time. In reality, it usually means that they’re doing the absolute bare minimum. Answering questions from the police is common decency. Catholic officials must do more. Given the on-going culture of secrecy within the church, they must actively work to find others with information or suspicions

Tobin should personally go to St. Anthony’s this weekend. He should stand in the pulpit and beg his flock to visit former parishioners, asking them if they saw, suspected of suffered crimes or misdeeds by Vasquez-Guzman. He should stress that silence in the face of child sex allegations puts more kids at risk of great harm. He should make it clear that speaking up makes the church safer for everyone.

And Tobin should do what 30 of his brother bishops have done: list on his archdiocesan websites the names, photos, whereabouts and work histories of every proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesting cleric who lives/lived or works/worked in the Indianapolis archdiocese.



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