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Mar-21-2008 22:18printcommentsVideo

Catholic Priest Sex Abuse Network Calls Secrecy and Pedophilia Rampant (VIDEO)

Group describes problems as large and out of control and faults church politics for dealing with sex abuse of children behind closed doors.

Father John Shuster, Salem-News.com's Tim King and Catholic Priest sex abuse survivor Bill Crane
Father John Shuster, Salem-News.com's Tim King and Catholic Priest sex abuse survivor Bill Crane. Shuster and Crane are members of SNAP, the Survivors Network for those who were Abused by Priests. Salem-News.com

(SALEM, Ore.) - Members of SNAP, the Priest sex abuse network, say the Portland, Oregon Archdiocese is harboring pedophile priests and failing to comply with a court order to disclose private records. And they have been saying it for a while.

For those who have not seen it or are not extremely familiar with the story, you may want to check this Salem-News.com article and video and see how the church was ordered to disclose the coveted records. (see: Oregon Sex Abuse Victims in Catholic Church Scandal Awarded Over $50 Million)

This article from April 18th 2007 gives the impression that transparency may at last be at hand as the church handed over millions to abuse survivors who took the time to take their cases against the Portland Archdiocese to court.

But in the ensuing months Arch Bishop Joseph Vlazny has apparently blocked and deflected all efforts to release the records of the offending priests that were ordered by the court and even celebrated that day just less than a year ago.

In this video you will hear from abuse survivor Bill Crane and married Roman Catholic Priest Father John Shuster. They say wounds are far from healed for all too many and that only a small fraction of abuse survivors ever come forward in the first place.

They describe the problems as large and out of control and fault church politics which deals with sex abuse of children behind closed doors and sees itself as clearly above the law, in their opinion and according to much documentation. Both admit that releasing the personnel files on the offending priests would likely expose many more, and they know that the release of those records could establish a precedent that other Catholic Archdiocese's would in turn have to follow.

Both say it is the only answer.

Father John Shuster and Bill Crane are interviewed by Salem-New.com's Tim King in this riveting hour long program. The main point is the Portland, Oregon Catholic Archdiocese' refusal to release those private records that would potentially affect many more priests who have so far escaped prosecution for committing sexual acts against children.

The hook is that an Oregon court ordered the records to be released, what kind of pull does the Catholic Church have on Oregon's courts anyway?

The following video is produced by Salem-News.com and brought to you courtesy of Veoh.com. This is a five-minute preview and you can go to the VeohTV/Veoh Player to watch the full hour. This is high quality video, possibly the best we have ever brought you on Salem-News.com, but there is an additional step involved in watching the full version.

If we can find a way to bring you the full hour here on Salem-News.com in the meanwhile we will certainly do so. The video has also been uploaded to MySpace and YouTube and Google Video and the file name is SNAP_finished.


Online Videos by Veoh.com





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Aaron Bilsem November 24, 2009 10:07 am (Pacific time)

While this is a terrible scandal, I notice that the term "pedophile" is used far too loosly. The percentage of pre-pubescent children abused (which would be pedophilia) is miniscule. The vast majority of victims are post-adolescent and adolescent males. This is a scandal of homosexual assaults.


Mark March 24, 2008 8:11 am (Pacific time)

Multiply this by the number of Dioceses here in the US. Then you will only know part of the story of this major cover-up. The Church is arrogant and powerful. They invented PR spin and have profected it! This cannon law crap has been featured has being something 'Divine'. When as stated so well is nothing more than 'country club' rules! What a mockery of the Christian faith!


Henry Ruark March 23, 2008 7:44 am (Pacific time)

Michelle et al: Your good words appreciated, as is you own example. At S-N, we do try to do what a daily newspaper should do: focus on major issues, inform our readers, and seek to help bring about demanded changes. BUT best we can do is to motivate "the people" to do what ONLY "the people" CAN and MUST DO --take action on those major problems and issues they feel intensely impacting their own lives. Your comment helped in that focus, and we'll continue the kind of courageous and helpful coverage made possible by Tim and Bon's professional approach and demonstrated courage.


Michelle March 22, 2008 7:55 pm (Pacific time)

Thanks Henry,

I believe the payout is at $1,000,000,000 according to "Deliver us From Evil" the documentary about Oliver O' Grady and those he hurt so much (but I'm bad with numbers and may not remember correctly). I've heard the estimates for just 2007 (after the movie) is from 528-617 mil. I'm a member of SNAP (though not abused by a priest, but another worker in a different denomination), and appreciate this piece and all the pieces Salem-News does on child abuse. They're level headed and kind to victims/survivors. Simply Tim's reaction when he heard some of the stories shows Salem-News gives heart to what they say. The Catholic victims who have come forward have changed litigation and the hope for healing for victims perhaps (hopefully) forever. My hope is that this change will continue in those who haven't come forward and those in Protestant denominations and across all religious and spiritual boundaries. It was Jesus who said that you might as well stick a millstone round your neck and throw yourself into the ocean than hurt a little child. Child abusers and those cowards and hypocrites and liars who protect them using a religious medium most certainly need to be dealt with, sometimes it's so difficult, as Shuster mentions and gives a nod to. I have friends who love Vlazny, and knowing personally the feel of betrayal, and their own sincerity and belief in the church, their love tears me, as does my own love for my own denominational leaders who personally betrayed me. It's not easy. Thanks for this piece, all of you.


Henry Ruark March 22, 2008 2:13 pm (Pacific time)

To Michelle et al: Unfortunately, remember my own Maine boyhood when common street talk was warning to watch self around "the priest" then at the only Catholic church. This is longtime widespread stain long known within the Church and never adequately remedied over these decades. Dunno the huge total of dollars now dedicated to the damages caused, but surely it is in the multi-millions,since nearly every large-city area and many other communities have been forced to cope with it. Without condemnation at any level, one must conclude there is an overwhelming problem here surely now demanding very close control and attention from Church officials.


Michelle March 22, 2008 1:44 am (Pacific time)

I just watched the whole thing. I've followed these cases very closely, and this interview was extremely interesting. I also just spent three hours reading the documents Vlazny has released thus far (all four hundred pages). Perhaps the two worst is Fr. Grammond's version of events. "Suddenly he [the boy] pulled down his pants and dove into my lap." Um. Wow. What a horrible, horrible person. And then there was another one I can't find again, but it's on official legal stationary in response to a devastating recount of one victim's problems as a result of abuse, threatening the counselor because he/she wrote the priest's name and profession and sent it to the archdoicese. It was ugly. The article from the Oregonian that Bill Crane mentioned is also posted, the one where the abuse claims far outnumber what Vlazny gave out. (It WAS the Oregonian, and it's the last pdf in the documents Vlazny has up.)

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