Victims to Hawai’i Bishop: Make all predators’ names public

The first step to transparency is being, well … transparent. And when your former bishop is a three-time-accused (that we know of) predator, that makes transparency even more important.

Fmr. Bishop and 3-time accused predator Joseph Ferrario
Fmr. Bishop and 3-time accused predator Joseph Ferrario

Victims to Hawai’i Bishop: Make all predators’ names public

Thirty other dioceses have exposed accused clerics

Seattle list included abuser in hiding in Honolulu

Former bishop should also be on list, group says

Releasing names is public safety imperative, SNAP says

Victims of sex abuse are demanding that the Catholic Bishop of Hawai’i publicly release the names of all clerics, employees, and volunteers who have been credibly accused of child sexual abuse.

In a letter to Honolulu Bishop Larry Silva, members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPNetwork.org), say that releasing the list is an “important step for transparency, healing, and child protection.”

Honolulu Bishop Silva
Honolulu Bishop Larry Silva

More than 30 other dioceses have released the names of accused clerics, and a recent list released by the Archdiocese of Seattle exposed a 50-time accused former Irish Christian Brother who is living “under the radar” in Hawai’i.

The group fears that Hawai’i’s credibly accused predator clerics could be living in local neighbors where they have unfettered access to children.

“How many credibly accused predators are living ‘under the radar’ here and elsewhere, where they can continue to prey on children?” the letter said. “Releasing these names is a public safety imperative.”

The letter also stresses the importance of releasing names of all of the accused, living and deceased. For example, former Honolulu Bishop Joseph Ferrario has been publicly accused of sexual abuse by at least three men. The first came forward in the 1980s.

“Bishop Ferrario led this diocese for years. He has been sued and/or accused by at least three brave victims” said Joelle Casteix, SNAP Western Regional Director. “The public and Catholics deserve to know the truth. For the sake of the victims and of Catholics who considered Ferrario to be their spiritual leader, will Ferrario’s name be included?”

Other deceased serial predator priests have also been honored for decades.

For more than 40 years, St. Anthony’s in Kailua honored serial child molester Fr. Joseph Henry, who has been accused of abuse by 18 boys,” the letter said. “You must do more than just take his name off of the parish hall, you must also publicly acknowledge that he and former Bishop Ferrario were credibly accused of sexual molestation.

According to court documents, more than 60 cases of child sexual abuse against the Diocese of Honolulu are in mediation. Approximately 30 of them have been settled. These victims were able to come forward and use the civil courts because of Hawai’i’s landmark civil window for child sex abuse victims, which gives survivors the opportunity to use the civil courts to expose their abuse. The window expires in April.

The letter, sent by fax and email, is included below.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

Contact – Joelle Casteix IN HONOLULU (949) 322-7434 cell, jcasteix@gmail.com) David Clohessy (314-566 9790 cell, davidgclohessy@gmail.comdavidgclohessy@gmail.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747bblaine@snapnetwork.org)

*********************************************************

SNAP – The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

PO Box 6416, Chicago, IL 60680-6416 –  SNAPNetwork.org

February 14, 2016

Most Reverend Clarence (Larry) Silva, Bishop of Honolulu 

Chancery, 1184 Bishop St.

Honolulu, HI 96813

 

Dear Bishop Silva;

We are members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPNetwork.org), the nation’s largest support group for men and women who were sexually abused in religious and institutional settings. We are writing you today with a simple request:

Publicly release the names of all credibly accused clerics who have worked in Hawai’i, both living and deceased. We also ask that you keep the list posted on your website and published in parish bulletins.

More than 30 other dioceses have made this simple and effective step.

The importance of releasing these names cannot be overstated. A similar list in Seattle exposed a 50-time accused cleric who is living here in Hawai’i. Until his name was exposed by the Seattle archbishop and reported in the Los Angeles Times, communities in Hawai’i had no idea the risk.

How many of Hawai’i’s predator clerics are living ‘under the radar’ here and elsewhere, where they can continue to prey on children?

Releasing these names is a public safety imperative. Keeping the names under wraps protects no one and only enforces the cycle of abuse.

We also ask that you ensure that the list includes ALL credibly accused clerics, even if they are deceased. Doing this helps victims heal and exposes the truth about the scope and scale of abuse and cover-up here in Hawai’i.

Bishop Ferrario led this diocese for years. He has been sued and/or accused by at least three brave victims. The public and Catholics deserve to know the truth. For the sake of the victims and of Catholics who considered Ferrario their spiritual leader, you must ensure Ferrario’s name is on the list. We also ask that you include Fr. Henry, who, despite being accused by more than 18 victims, was honored at St. Anthony’s in Kailua as recently as November.

No Catholic wants to unknowingly honor a child molester. No victim wants to see his/her perpetrator honored. No community wants to live in fear that their child is at risk from a hidden Hawai’i predator priest. The only way for victims to heal and to protect children right now is for you to show that you truly care about child safety and victims and take this important step for transparency, healing, and child protection.

We look forward to your immediate action.

 

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