Today, David Clohessy and SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) released a statement today regarding a recent decision by Portland Archbishop Alexander Sample to allow an alleged child molester “to keep working for at least six more months around kids at a school” in the Portland Archdiocese here in Oregon.
Clohessy cites an article in the Oregonian that explains how Patrick Jay Wallace, a Freshman football coach at Central Catholic, was accused of allegedly sexually abusing a girl in 1997 when he was a softball coach at David Douglas High School. He was subsequently investigated by David Douglas officials and fired. The David Douglas principal at the time was John Harrington, who is now the President of Central Catholic. When he came to Central Catholic in 2008, Jay Wallace was already on the coaching staff, but Harrington did not address Wallace’s history of allegations and firing from David Douglas. Only after the girl who originally accused Wallace of sexual abuse in 1997 recently told the Willamette Week about his past were Harrington and other Central Catholic officials forced to address the issue.
We have yet to hear Archbishop Sample’s response to Clohessy and SNAP’s critique of Central Catholic’s choice to allow an accused child molester to stay involved with the children of that school.
In light of other sexual abuse allegations making front page news right now, it is more important than ever that officials in institutions of trust like the Catholic Church are held accountable to follow through with their ‘zero tolerance’ policies. We cannot afford to give perpetrators an opportunity to re-offend. Our kids deserve better.