Thursday, March 17, 2011

Priest removed

http://mnsnap.wordpress.com/snap-wisconsin/
Archbishop Lucas permanently removes Jesuit priest from ministry in Omaha

New sex abuse report dates from time priest taught in Milwaukee in 1980’s

Fr. Perry Robinson was in sex offender treatment center at least twice before transfer

Wisconsin’s “fleeing sex offender” law may make prosecution of state offenses still possible

WHAT - After a sidewalk press conference producing documents concerning the recent removal of Jesuit Fr. Perry Robinson, who taught at Marquette High school for twenty years, prior to his removal from ministry in Omaha last month for reports of child sex abuse, survivors of childhood sexual assault by clergy will attempt to hand deliver a letter to Jesuit provincial Fr. Thomas Krettek, urging him to:

–immediately turn over to law enforcement all reports, records and evidence of childhood sex crimes by Robinson and other Jesuits to law enforcement,

–apologize for misleading Catholics and the public about Robinson’s second firing from a church assignment for reports of sexual misconduct,

–release Robinsons history of sexual abuse reports and treatment and place him in a secure facility, and

–promise to immediately create a public registry listing all Jesuits at Marquette High and elsewhere with confirmed and credible reports of abusing children.

WHERE - Outside the headquarters of the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus, 3400 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee

WHEN - Thursday March 17, 11:00 a.m.

WHO - 3-4 members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims, including the group’s longtime Midwest Director. SNAP has been around for 23 years and has more than 10,000 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.

WHY - Just under four weeks ago, according to documents obtained by SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), Fr. Perry Robinson, who taught at the prestigious Marquette University High School in Milwaukee for nearly 20 years, was permanently removed from ministry by the archbishop of Omaha for new and past credible reports of sexual abuse and misconduct.

Robinson was the associate pastor of St. Gerald’s Parish in Ralston, Nebraska since 2002 but had worked at the parish since at least 1989.

Robinson’s secret firing from ministry was prompted by at least one new abuse report last month from a former Marquette High student who attended the school in the 1980’s.

Robinson is a member of the Catholic religious order, The Society of Jesus, or the Jesuits, the largest catholic religious organization teaching children in the world. The headquarters for Robinson’s Jesuit province is located in Milwaukee.

After a sidewalk press conference outside Jesuit headquarters in Milwaukee on Thursday, victims of childhood sexual assault by clergy will attempt to hand deliver a letter to Jesuit Provincial, Fr. Thomas Krettek, voicing their “alarm and concern” about Robinson’s placement in Omaha. Survivors charge that Robinson’s assignment in Omaha was a direct violation of the American bishops promise to remove from ministry all clergy with credible histories of sexual abuse. A “veil of secrecy,” they say, characterizes not only the Jesuit’s removal of Robinson from St. Gerald’s but the refusal by both the Jesuits and the archdiocese of Milwaukee to release the numbers, names, and current assignments of Jesuit child molester clergy.

Before his transfer to Omaha by the Jesuits and the Milwaukee archdiocese, Robinson, according to newspaper reports published in Milwaukee in 1993, had already been fired from Marquette High for taking nude photographs of students and had been twice placed in a residential treatment center for sex offenders.

Significantly, archbishop George Lucas of Omaha not only suspended Robinson from ministry, but issued a “canonical decree” which “permanently” removes Robinson from ministry, forbidding him to ever minister in the archdiocese of Omaha, the strongest sanction a bishop can issue under church law.

Lucas contacted Robinson’s Jesuit superiors to inform them of his decision to remove the priest on February 18. On March 6, the pastor of St. Gerald’s, Fr. Owen Korte, wrote in the parish bulletin that Robinson was “taking a much needed sabbatical and rest” and would not be returning to the parish. In addition to expressing his “gratitude” for “nearly 20 years of service at the parish,” Korte announced that the “children of the grade school will be putting together a spiritual bouquet to present to Robinson.”

Prior to his arrival in Ralston, Robinson had been teaching at Marquette High where he specialized in sophomore Latin, freshman theology, and amateur photography. Robinson was fired from Marquette after it was discovered that he had produced, over a ten year period, nude photos of Marquette students. The nude photos, possibly evidence of child pornography, appears to have never been turned over to police, and were subsequently destroyed by the Jesuits.

In announcing Robinson’s earlier removal from Marquette, Jesuit authorities in 1993 revealed that Robinson had returned only six months earlier from treatment at St. Luke’s Institute, a sex offender facility for clergy, and were returning him to St. Luke’s a second time for further treatment.

Following Robinson’s second round of treatment he was secretly transferred and almost immediately began working at St. Gerald’s. The parishioners of St. Gerald’s were not informed of Robinson’s prior history of sexual misconduct, nor of his at least two periods of residential commitment at a sex offender treatment facility.

The state of Wisconsin has a unique “tolling” provision in the statute of limitations laws, making any reports the Jesuits may have on Robinson and others potential evidence for current prosecution. This provision, upheld by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 2008, allows for the prosecution of sex offenders who have fled the state of Wisconsin after sexually abusing a child. At least 22 clergy have been successfully prosecuted under the tolling law over the past several years, making it even more important that anyone who has been abused as a child, at any time, contact law enforcement immediately.

1 comment:

skimferella said...

I can't figure out why these folks are sent to treatment instead of jail. Do the victims not want to go through a trial? Has treatment ever worked and why have any treatment at all if it doesn't?