Monday, August 30, 2010

Catholic bishop urged to help law enforcement

Catholic bishop urged to help law enforcement

Predator priest who worked in NH faces criminal prosecution

A court hearing in his case in Virginia is set for later this week

Victims & concerned parishioners want Bishop McCormack to act

They also prod college to contact alums about accused pedophile

"Help find others who were hurt," groups ask "and urge them to call police"

Holding signs at a sidewalk news conference, concerned Catholics & clergy sex abuse victims will urge
-- a New Hampshire college to reach out to anyone hurt by a recently-arrested predator priest,
-- New Hampshire's bishop to do likewise (via his diocesan website and parish bulletins), and
-- college students and staff to ask peers and colleagues if they saw, suspected or suffered sexual misdeeds by the priest, and, if so, to immediately contact police and prosecutors.

Monday, August 30, 1:00 p.m.

Outside the Catholic diocesan headquarters (chancery), 153 Ash Street, in downtown Manchester NH

Two lay Catholic parishioners who belong to a group called NH Voice of the Faithful and a clergy sex abuse victim who belong to a support group called SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests).

Last month, Fr. Felix C. Owino was arrested in Fairfax VA and charged with “aggravated sexual battery” of a girl under 13. From 2005 to 2007, he worked at Magdalen College in New Hampshire as chaplain for the students, faculty, staff, families, and high school summer youth programs. Owino was also a professor and academic adviser to individual students and provided private spiritual direction to students.

SNAP and VOTF are prodding Manchester Bishop John McCormack and Magdalen College President Jeffrey Karls to ‘come clean’ about any allegations of sexual abuse while Owino worked in New Hampshire. They also want church and college officials to help law enforcement by aggressively seeking out others with information about Owino’s crimes.

The groups are also urging any current and former students and employees at the college to ask their colleagues about Owino, They believe that anyone who has seen, suspected or suffered Owino’s misdeeds should come forward, call police, protect others and start healing.

Sometimes, when one victim of a predator discloses, others sit back and assume he’ll be convicted. But the two groups feel it's important for everyone with information about clergy sex crimes to contact law enforcement. Often, child molesting clerics get top notch defense lawyers who successfully exploit legal technicalities and escape conviction or get lenient sentences, the groups maintain.

SNAP is doing a similar event today in the Allentown PA diocese where Owino also worked.

Owino is a native of Nairobi, Kenya. A photo of him is available at

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