SNAP sends letter to Youngstown bishop

Staff report

Leaders of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said they have written Bishop George V. Murry of the Diocese of Youngstown about having a public discussion on the issue of abuse by clergy.

David Clohessy of St. Louis, executive director of SNAP, indicated that the request was motivated in part by an email sent last week by SNAP, noting it had discovered a former deacon and teacher at two parochial schools in the diocese had lost his teaching license.

Ernest Formichelli, who taught at Cardinal Mooney High School from 1976-2013 and St. Christine School, 1971-76, had lost his teaching license, according to September 2013 minutes of the Ohio Board of Education.

Formichelli is no longer a deacon, and the state board “revoked permanently the five-year professional high school teaching license and permanent non-tax teaching certificate” of Formichelli.

SNAP is taking issue with a statement by the Rev. John Jerek, vicar of clergy in the diocese, who said, “SNAP has been misinformed and is operating under suspicions, not facts.” Father Jerek said, “Ohio law prohibits the Diocese of Youngstown from giving specifics on the employement of any individual.”

SNAP wants the diocese to clear up the misinformation.

“The diocese is not aware of any person working in any diocesan organization, who has been credibly accused of abuse, and for anyone to say otherwise is untrue,” read a statement released by the diocese.

“There are state privacy laws that prevent the diocese from commenting about a former employee. The diocese continues to encourage abuse victims to come forward, report abuse to civil authorities and to the diocese. We comply with civil law, church law and our own Child Protection Policy. The diocese will not engage in a town hall meeting in which unsupported charges are leveled against the diocese,” the release continued.

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