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SNAP sends letter to Youngstown bishop

Published: Wed, August 13, 2014 @ 12:04 a.m.

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.


1TIM1960(4 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

I know why the church is being quiet. Now with Formichelli being outed, that makes 2 sex offenders at Cardinal Mooney at the same time, 1977. The other was Fr. Tom Crum, When Crum was reported to the principal, at the time it happened, the bishop just moved him to another school. The only good thing here is that Formichelli is no longer teaching.

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2TIM1960(4 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Dear Bishop Murry:

In a hurtful move last week, regarding child sex abuse allegations against Deacon Ernest Formichelli, your vicar of clergy, Fr. John Jerek, said: “SNAP has been misinformed and is operating under suspicions, not facts.”

We call on you to either clarify or denounce Fr. Jerek's statement. It's defamatory to level a vague accusation against us while you hide facts that could protect children.

You have ousted Formichelli as a deacon. But you didn't tell parishioners or the public.

You no longer let Formichelli teach at schools. But you didn't tell parishioners or the public.
And even now, after Ohio's board of education has permanently revoked both of Formichelli's teaching licenses, you refuse to tell parishioners or the public what Formichelli has done to warrant these penalties.

Instead, you claim that alleged secular restrictions prevent you from “giving specifics on the employment of any individual." Then why did you remove and make public the names of accused child molesting clerics like Fr. Crum and Fr. Warner, but now claim you can't make public the name of an accused teacher/deacon who worked in your diocese for years?

It insults us and your flock for you to pretend to be powerless to expose child molesting clerics. Roughly 30 U.S. bishops have posted on their websites the names of predator priests. Yet you claim you can't be honest and tell your flock that Formichelli has been ousted because of credible child sex abuse reports?

Bishop, there seem to be repeated misunderstandings between you and our group. In case after case, we see things one way, you see things another way. We make public what we know about abuse and cover up in Youngstown. And instead of being forthright, you let others speak for you through terse, carefully crafted media statements that obscure the truth.

Then we hear complaints from your flock that your comments actually confuse the situation instead of illuminate the situation.

Bishop, kids are safest when the truth is exposed and understood. So we're inviting you to call a town hall meeting to publicly discuss your handling of the child molesting clerics scandal.

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3TIM1960(4 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago


The diocese did know about Fr. Crum being a molester when he was teaching at Cardinal Mooney. What did they do? Moved him to another school. What do you call that.

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