SNAP News Event in San Francisco

Members of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) held a media event this past Wednesday in San Francisco. Barbara Dorris, SNAP’s National Outreach Director, has been traveling around the country doing events in various cities around the U.S. This particular event concerned Fr. Jose Superiaso, who pled guilty to sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Daly City. Superiaso has been seeking pardons and SNAP is concerned that he may be released early and could flee to the Philippines, his native country, and continue to minister to and molest children.

Regrettably, no media showed up at the event. In an effort to get this information out there,  I am publishing the press release below, in its entirety. We need to hold predators accountable for their actions and help protect children everywhere! If you can help in any way, please contact SNAP at 1-312-455-1499 or 1-877-SNAPHEALS (1-877-762-7432).

Visit SNAP’s page SNAP is on the move to view photos and follow SNAP events around the country.

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Sex abuse victims want church’s help with predator

They urge SF archdiocese to lobby Obama and Schwarzenegger

Pedophile priest who’s behind bars and pled guilty is seeking pardons

SNAP opposes the move and wants archbishop to take cleric’s passport

Self help group also wants local Catholic officials to house child molesting clergy together

SNAP to archdiocese: For public safety, “put predator priests” in secure, remote treatment facility

What:
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk press conference, victims of clergy sex abuse will urge San Francisco Catholic officials to
— help them fight to keep an imprisoned pedophile priest behind bars,
— write Philippine authorities and discourage them from trying to free the child molesting cleric,
— order the criminal to turn over his passport to the SF archdiocese so he can’t flee the US when released, and
— upon his release, house him (and the archdiocese’s proven, admitted and credibly accused predator priests) in remote, secure facilities, so they’ll get treatment and so kids will be safer.

When:
Wednesday, September 16, 1:30 p.m.

Where:
In front of the San Francisco archdiocesan headquarters, 1 Peter Yorke Way (corner of Geary Blvd), San Francisco

Who
Three-four men and women and their supporters who are members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a Missouri woman who is the group’s national outreach director

Why
In 2005, Fr. Jose Superiaso pled guilty to sexually abusing, 20-30 times, a 12-year-old girl at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Daly City. Earlier this year, he appealed to President Barak Obama and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for pardons. SNAP is fearful that political and church pressure will spring Superiaso prematurely and/or that he’ll flee the US after his release and continue to minister, and molest kids, in the Philippines.

The Manila’s Public Attorney’s Office has already tried to help Superiaso get freed early. SNAP wants the San Francisco church hierarchy to write Philippine government authorities and ask them to not interfere or intervene in the US criminal process and stop trying to win Superiaso’s early release.

Often, in such cases, bishops quietly try to get imprisoned pedophile priests freed quickly and quietly. Other times, bishops sit passively back while others advocate for the priest’s freedom. SNAP, however, wants SF Catholic officials to actively work with them to keep Superiaso jailed for his full sentence, so that kids will be safer.

Superiaso was also a priest at Our Lady of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Belmont and at Our Lady of the Pillar Church in Half Moon Bay. He is not eligible for parole until 2013 though SNAP fears he may try to get out sooner for “good behavior.”

Superiaso was ordained in the Philippines and came to the US in 1989. In 1998, he was sent to work on a Native American reservation in Santa Fe Archdiocese. That’s where he repeatedly molested the girl between 1994-1995.

A few bishops (including St. Louis and Philadelphia) house and monitor their dangerous and potentially dangerous child molesting clerics. While dozens of pedophile priests have died or are imprisoned, SNAP believes most of them, in the Bay Area and across the country, walk free, live independently, and get little/inadequate church supervision. In recent years, at least 20 have been caught committing other crimes even after having been outed for sexual abuse.

Bishops recruit, educate, ordain, hire, supervise, transfer, shield, and defend priests, some of whom molest kids. So SNAP feels church officials have a moral and civic duty to do more than merely suspend them. The archdiocese should, SNAP believes, centrally house and oversee them in remote, secure, widely publicized and professionally-run centers. This ensures that the predators get treatment and that kids are protected.

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3 Comments

  1. Who can we ask about the FACTS of the case? There have been numerous questions in re: the resolution of the case. Did Superiaso plead guilty to the charges because he was really guilty, or is that what the lawyers advised him to do? If that’s the case, then once again, the Catholic Church has denied their culpability in this horrendous situation. Likewise, where was the child’s mother when all of this was happening? If the church offered to pay her for what happened and she accepted,then she was not looking after the welfare of her child. Let’s also stop using the euphemism “child molestation” If Superiaso did have sexual intercourse with the 14 yr.old girl, it was RAPE. Therefore, 10 years in jail is not enough punishment. The question remains: WHAT IS THE TRUTH?

    • I think that’s an excellent question. So often we don’t—and won’t—know the answer. The whole truth rarely becomes public knowledge. And every party involved is going to have their own perspective and interpretation regarding “what really happened.”

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