SNAP of Tennessee

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests - Tennessee 

New KC Bishop James "Vann" Johnston - what we know and you should want to know

by Susan Vance

September 17, 2015:  James "Vann" Johnston learned deceit and subterfuge in Knoxville, Tennessee.  Specifically, under the tutelage of Joseph Kurtz, then Father Johnston mastered the tools that would advance him to new heights in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.

How do I know?  I was there.  More to the point, I interacted with Bishop Kurtz and his right hand man, Father Vann Johnston, as they led the diocese of Knoxville to re-O'Connellize the diocese of Knoxville.  

Bishop Anthony O'Connell, first bishop of Knoxville, admitted molesting young boys in 2002. He had already gone to Palm Beach, Florida, when the admission went public but it reverberated throughout all of East Tennessee who had all but canonized the man while he was here.  Kurtz and Johnston succeeded in duping the people in the pews of the diocese of Knoxville into believing that O'Connell did nothing wrong.  They did so in many ways, not the least of which was allowing lies about the sexual abuse of O'Connell to fester and go unchallenged.  (BTW, Re-O'Connellization is a term told to me by none other than one of the priests of the diocese of Knoxville).

In March 2003, the following letter was presented to Bishop Kurtz in a personal conference at which Father Vann Johnston was present.  You can read the letter here. That was the last time I trusted a Kurtz and Johnston.  They were a bigger part of the problem than people know. They let people continue to think that O'Connell didn't do anything but MAYBE touch and that these were "consenting adults" anyway.  Would the headline "High School Principal Molests Students" gain sympathy from the people?  No.  But the headline "Rector has sex with seminary students" apparently was OK with the people of the diocese.  Why?  Because they did not know that a "rector" is a principal and that the "seminarians" were high schoolers from freshman to seniors.  A minor seminary being a high school was never clarified.  So, by omission, Kurtz and Johnston gave leadership in keeping the people ignorant and satisfied that nothing had happened here.  All the disingenuous propaganda of the diocese to try to recoup its reputation and masterfully done by K & J with the cooperation of their priests. 

And that was just the start of a brilliant career for them as slick, seemingly pious clerics who would never be held accountable by the Catholics of the diocese, the people of East Tennessee or the Pope himself. 

It was after that meeting, as we were walking out of the Bishop's office, that I pointed out that O'Connell's bust was on prominent display on its own table and decorated with shamrocks for St. Patrick's day.  We said that it was an affront to victims.  The vacant look on Johnston's face told us loud and clear that he did not care.  And indeed, the bust remained on display until finally they reconstructed the wall into an "historical" place where all manner of artifacts were displayed.  A clever and apparently successful plan to get their way but try to rely on "history" as an excuse to still display a pedophile's picture/bust.  And they got away with it.  

In short, it took us from December 2003 to February 2003 to get a building at our parish to remove O'Connell's name from the side of the building.  Really?  That long to "think about it."  An admitted pedophile if he weren't an ordained member of the Catholic clergy would have his named yanked down in a heartbeat.  But, we had to "think about it."  Another stalling ploy on the part of Kurtz and Johnston which further made the people suspicious of whether or not O'Connell was guilty or not.  It began to be said that "O'Connell didn't really do it, he just said he did to that he wouldn't embarrass the boys"  I heard it with my own ears, folks.  

And so the revision continued.  It became easier for K & J because they could blame "those mean women from SNAP" for all of their troubles.  

At one point, I had a press conference and reported on my research.  I had looked up the assignment record of the priest pedophiles from Tennessee who were in the public domain and then added the priest pedophiles provided to us by victims and came up with the conclusion that almost every county of East Tennessee had had a priest pedophile assigned there at one time or another.  The press asked Father Vann Johnston, chancellor and spokesperson for the diocese, for his response.  He said simply, "That's a lie." 

When I confronted Johnston and asked him "Why did you call me a liar?"  His response will clearly let you know why he is rising so high so fast in the Catholic ranks.  He said, "Now, Susan.  Listen carefully to what I said.  I did not call you a liar.  I simply said that what you said was a lie."  Hair-splitting at its finest and by a professional liar himself (and I DID say liar and meant it.)  

When Ann Brentwood, a renown advocate for clergy abuse victims, and I met with Kurtz and Johnston to asked one simple question, "Will you cross reference with the other two dioceses of Tennessee and find out the priest pedophiles in their records?  Will you then tell the people in the parishes affected by these pedophiles that they have been endangered?"  Their answer was simple, "That is not going to happen."  

And it did NOT happen.  The people of the diocese of Knoxville remained ignorant.  

The same day that Father Vann Johnston called me a liar, I again asked him face-to-face to cross reference with Nashville and Memphis to let parishioners know where these pedophiles had been.  He said no, of course.  When pushed as to why, Johnston simply said, "Because we don't have to."

And that is true.  Unless the courts demand records, the diocese can get away with their lies and re-O'Connellization of the diocese and telling the people that everything is all right when it is not.  Tennessee's statutes of limitations are the problem and will remain so.  SNAP has been instrumental in the person of Ann Brentwood in getting the laws changed for the better since 2006 but the cases are not, for the most part, retroactive and cannot be brought to court without some type of censure.  So the lies of the Catholic church in Tennessee from its earliest days continue.


At one point, I called the diocese of Palm Beach and asked if they still had pictures of Bishop Anthony O'Connell on the walls of their churches and schools.  The person on the other end said, "Why would we?"  

Why would we, indeed.  But we do in East Tennessee.  It's all part of the squishy feeling that Kurtz and Johnston allowed to permeate the diocese, the parishes and the schools.  First St. Mary's Oak Ridge was led kicking and screaming to take down O'Connell's name from the Family Life Center.  Then we requested that Knoxville Catholic High School take down its picture of O'Connell.  Nope, would not happen.  History, don't 'cha know.  The picture did come down for the 75th anniversary of Knox Catholic (I guess they were afraid it might offend donors at that occasion) but it apparently has since been restored somewhere in the school.  And unless an alumna like myself goes over there and pitches a fit, they don't understand that it is wrong . . . and they still would not take it down for that (unless I were rich and withheld a huge check from them. . . then they would listen.)

Then Mike Wegs visited Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga and asked the principal to remove the picture of O'Connell from their front hall.  No, would not do it.  Not even at the request of a victim of O'Connell.  Someone needs to ask Notre Dame if they still have that picture there.  My guess, is yes but I hope I am wrong.  

When Kurtz and Johnston left the diocese for their new high powered jobs as Archbishop and Bishop, respectively, they did not bother to inform Bishop Richard Stika about the pedophiles who had abused in the diocese.  Bishop Richard Stika is now the 3rd bishop of Knoxville.  As Kurtz's successor, one would think he would know who had abused here, but no.   No information.  No names.  And as it turns out, no interest on the part of Stika to know or be accountable.  No surprise there. 

So what does James "Vann" Johnston bring to Kansas City.  Just what they apparently need.  Someone who is a cover-up artist.  Someone who is suave and gets away with his "I just said you lied. I didn't say you were a liar" expertise.  A master of parsing words.  A master at mental reservation.  He is a master at keeping victims in the background.  And maybe most important for Kansas City, he is a master at revising the past to make it look good.  Johnston will take all of your problems and rewrite history.  After all, if you can re-O'Connellize the diocese of Knoxville, you can do anything.  

Bishop sexually molests and admits it.  NO problem.  Archbishop Joseph Kurtz and Bishop James "Vann" Johnston to the rescue.   

Click here for more information.

To all the Walter Emala, Paul St. Charles, Frank Richards, and Edward McKeown victims . . . you are not forgotten.

Bishop Richard Stika said he did not know these names . . . Really?  Did Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville not think it important to tell you, Bishop?

Stika and Kurtz may not care . . . but we do.  Victims of these pedophiles, you are not forgotten.

Tennessee abusive priests who were assigned

The following priests are just some of the priests in Tennessee who have been assigned to other dioceses in order to cover-up the fact that they molested children.  Click on the name to see more. 

Father Paul Haas

Father Walter Emala

Father Joseph Reilly

Harry Monroe was dismissed from Indiana and lived for many years in Nashville.  The public in Nashville were never warned. Click here for more information. 

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, is one of ten candidates for president of the National Council of Catholic Bishops.  What we know that you should know about Joseph Kurtz.

What crime is big enough to get a priest removed from the priesthood (laicization)?

Unfinished Business - Richards and McKeown - more

With the indictment and arrest of William C. Casey, Warren Tucker and the small group of brave survivors and their families, have started a revolution.  We want Frank Richards and Edward McKeown in jail for the rest of their lives.  Frank Richards is a free man. McKeown is in jail for his molestation AFTER he left the priesthood. We want them both in jail for their crimes as a priest.  Join our Facebook movement.

Knoxville News Sentinel article at Knoxnews.com

Unfinished Business - Richards and McKeown

William Casey has been indicted in three states: North Carolina, Virginia, and now Tennessee as of Friday, September 2, 2010

But the diocese of Knoxville and the diocese of Nashville have unfinished business.

 March 1, 1989 -- the day the church in Tennessee dumped two pedophiles on an unsuspecting public.  21 years later, it's time for truth. 

 The same laws that indicted William Casey apply equally to two priest pedophiles who abused in Middle and East Tennessee.  Frank Richards and Edward McKeown are unfinished business of the diocese of Knoxville and the diocese of Nashville. There is enough proof in the files of the church to give authorities the information they need to file charges against these two men.  Bishop Choby and Bishop Stika, look in your canonical secret files and help the police!

Campaign of SNAP of Tennessee to see justice done for the dozens of boys these priests molested in the diocese of Knoxville and the diocese of Nashville.  


Bishop Richard Stika of the diocese of Knoxville, Tennessee has been praised for acting quickly to remove William Casey.  Now is his chance to prove a continued concern for the victims of clergy sexual abuse in his diocese.  We urge him to act quickly in conjunction with Bishop Choby of the diocese of Nashville to put Frank Richards in jail and to keep Edward McKeown in jail.  

 Franklin T. (Frank) RichardsHelp us put Frank Richards in jail!

 Franklin T. Richards was principal of Knoxville Catholic High School in the mid 1980s and many churches in middle Tennessee before that. Parents at Knoxville Catholic High School complained of the abuse their sons had endured from Richards.  Instead of telling the community about this, the bishop quietly removed him at the end of the school year and he was reassigned to Nashville parishes. That was 1985. On March 1, 1989 he left the ministry.  The church had followed their pattern of waiting out the pedophile-friendly Tennessee statutes on child sexual abuse and then turned Richards loose on an unsuspecting public.  That was 21 years ago.  Now we have a chance to put this pedophile priest in jail.  Click here if you wish to help. 

Did Richards admit the abuse?  YES HE DID, AND THE CHURCH KNOWS THIS. Dan Moffat of the Palm Beach Post has the information published in this article. Richards talked to detectives from Nashville for 3 hours admitting his abuse but he thought the statutes had run and he was safe from jail.  

See more information on this website or go to BishopAccountability.org and search for Frank Richards or Franklin T. Richards. 

If you know where Frank Richards, contact the authorities.  If you need help doing so, contact SNAP of Tennessee.

 Edward McKeown Bishop Stika and Bishop Choby, will you open your files and get these pedophile priests in jail for the rest of their lives?  Your faithful in thepews need deserve this kind of action on your part. 

 Edward McKeown abused across East Tennessee.  He was assigned to Blessed Sacrament in Harriman, St. Thomas in Lenoir City, and St. Ann in Lansing.  Edward McKeown has never paid the price for the abuse of dozens boys at the churches where he was assigned.  He is in prison now for what he did after he was removed from ministry, not for what he did as a priest! Edward McKeown also left the priesthood on March 1, 1989. 

Victims of Edward McKeown still call SNAP to this day (one just a month ago!)  

Edward McKeown has said that he is "a friend" of the governor and wants to get pardoned before Governor Bredesen leaves office.  Don't let this happen!  

Help us to file new charges against Edward McKeown and get him put in jail for his abuse as a priest. 

More information about Edward McKeown on this site or at BishopAccountability.org.


  Quote of the day: 

"Furthermore there is to be a secret archive in every diocese where more sensitive materials are kept (cc. 489-490). The canons specify very few specific items that must be kept in the secret archives."

Question: The bishop of Knoxville said that there were
"No secret archives." Did I just not say the exact phrase, Bishop Stika, and that's why you didn't answer honestly in front of every TV camera in Knoxville?

 Father William Casey admits abuse; removed permanently from priesthood; prosecution pending

On April 14, 2010, Mr. Warren Tucker reported the abuse by Father William Casey.  Click here for a list of links concerning this issue.

Clergy Sexual Abuse being exposed in Memphis

Information and press release for media event 04-09-2010

Document release in Diocese of Memphis, TN

Harry Monroe - again in the news - how much more outrage do we need?

he Archdiocese of Indianapolis gifted Tennessee with Pedophile priest Harry Monroe. Which Tennessee priest did we send to them in exchange?  Investigate. History shows that you will probably find one!

The Church knew that he (Harry Monroe) was an abuser. Records say church knew of priest's abuse

Other information on this site about Harry Monroe.Click here.

More about Paul St. Charles, Preferred Pedophile Priest

The diocese of Memphis found "credible" evidence that Paul St. Charles is a pedophile. The diocese of Nashville coddles St. Charles like some kind of icon. Apparently, abusing children means little to Bishop Choby and the priests of the Nashville diocese. They let the people think that St. Charles has been "vindicated" even when fellow bishop, Bishop Steib of Memphis, says St. Charles is guilty. What brotherly support from Bishop Choby to Bishop Steib!!! And, Paul St. Charles has lived in "retirement" in Nashville for more years than he was an active priest pedophile. Who has he abused in Nashville? Do you trust the clergy in Nashville to have protected your children over the years? Oops! Here are links to Caleb Hannan's recent stories about Paul St. Charles, the pedophile par excellence.

Accused pedophile Paul St. Charles lost his priesthood. But that didn't stop Nashville's bishop from giving him an award

 Rest up, Your Catholic Priest Abuse Story Fatigue may Soon be put to the Test

SNAP responds to new Knoxville Bishop

onsignor Richard Sticka will be installed as the new bishop of Knoxville, Tennessee.  Here is some information about how Richard Sticka dealt with clergy sexual abuse in the past. 

SNAP statement on new Knoxville Bishop. 

SNAP calls for ouster of Monsignor (2005 article)

SNAP press release from 2005 in its entirety. 

Memphis expose "Nothing Sacred" gives comprehensive information on Pedophile Paul St. Charles

Nothing Sacred - from the Memphis News Magazine.

Link to the information in PDF format 

Link to the information in Word format

New Lawsuit filed against Paul St. Charles

A new lawsuit has been filed against Paul St. Charles in the Shelby County Circuit court.

08/26/08 - Article from Memphis Commercial Appeal - Suit accuses retired priest of abuse

Press release for Memphis Press conference, Monday, August 25, 2008

SNAP responds to Pope's visit to US

On Sunday, April 13, 2008, SNAP will hold a vigil and press conference.  Victims of abuse will ask that all bishops be defrocked who have been abusers. 

Click here for press release from SNAP 

Click here to see a video from YouTube of the rally. 

Anthony J. O'Connell, the disgraced first bishop of Knoxville, Tennessee, admitted abuse.  Click here for information on O'Connell.

Click here for a video update as of 04/14/2008 about the taking down of O'Connell's picture at Knoxville Catholic High School.   

Many thanks to BishopAccountability.org for the table below 

Anthony J. O'Connell



1963-88Jefferson City MO priest, seminary teacher, and rector
1988-98Knoxville TN bishop
1998-2002Palm Beach FL bishop
2002Admits abuse and resigns
2002-nowPalm Beach FL emeritus

Accused in 2002 of sexually abusing a student from 9th through 12th grade at St. Thomas Aquinas Preparatory Seminary in Hannibal, where O'Connell was rector. Complainant had gone to O'Connell because of prior abuse by another priest. O'Connell admitted the abuse and another similar case and resigned. Others came forward, totaling 9 by 2004, when 2 of 3 cases were settled. O'Connell moved to the Trappists' Mepkin Abbey near Moncks Corner SC.

St. Louis Post Dispatch 3.08.02

Miami Herald 3.09.02

Kansas City Star 4.19.02

St. Louis Post Dispatch 4.03.03

Times Daily 7.18.03

Palm Beach Post 2.28.04

Palm Beach Post 5.17.04

Palm Beach Post 7.29.04

Kansas City Star11.14.04

Metro-Pulse 11.16.06


Shame on Bishop Choby! Shame on Father Ryan High School!


The people of the diocese of Nashville and the state of Tennessee are completely duped by Bishop Choby and the priests of the diocese of Nashville.  Bishop J. Terry Steib announced that Paul St. Charles is "credibly accused " of molesting teen boys.  Bishop Steib has petitioned Rome to "defrock" Paul St. Charles.  Yet, Bishop Choby gives a public award to this credibly accused priest and refuses to tell the people that he is an abuser.  This is no way to be "transparent" about clergy sexual abuse. 

Bishop Choby, you owe all victims of clergy abuse an apology.  Tell the people the truth.  Tell them that Paul St. Charles is NOT vindicated.  Tell them that there are court cases in process right now.  Tell them that Paul St. Charles is being defrocked. 

Is this in the great tradition of Father Ryan High School?  To give honors to child molesters?  If Bishop Choby and the priests of the diocese had done their jobs, the good people of Father Ryan would have known that Paul St. Charles is credibly accused.  They would know that this an outrage to all victims of clergy sexual abuse. 

We know that the Golden Grad award at Father Ryan is just about living 50 years past your graduation day.  We know that it is not some personal tribute award.  Therefore, the Golden Grad award should have been given to Paul St. Charles "in absentia."  No public award should have been given.  The bishop and the alumni association at Father Ryan could have easily made this point to Paul St. Charles.  They could have said, "The award is in the mail."  Instead, they allowed a child molester to appear in public and shake the hand of the bishop.  The bishop has never raised a hand to set the record straight about the abuse of children and teens at the hands of Paul St. Charles.  We have no pictures of victims of clergy abuse receiving an affable handshake from the bishop. 

We call upon Bishop Choby for a formal apology.  We call on Bishop Steib to stand up for his decision and demand that the people be told the truth.  We call upon Bishop Steib to stand up and tell the people of the diocese of Knoxville that Paul St. Charles was assigned in their diocese as well.  We call upon all priests to be on the side of truth and tell their respective churches about the credible allegations of Paul St. Charles. 

Click here to see the disgraceful "Golden Grad" awards given to a child molester. 

See Paul St. Charles on the front row.  Do these Golden Grads know the truth?  Did anyone bother to tell them that their classmate, Paul St. Charles has multiple abuse victims?  Did anyone bother to let a victim speak to them to tell them why this is so heinous?  Did anyone bother to think of the victims?  Is this the way clergy abuse victims can expect to be treated across the state of Tennessee? 

New chapters across the Southeast USA

  • Alabama

Information of press conference in Birmingham, AL Friday, October 19th.

Press release and letter to Bishop Baker are located here. 

Service record for Cuthbert Bender, OSB is located here.


Greg Salata - Lawsuit filed in Memphis 08-15-07; SNAP responds

Lawsuit claims rape by priest

Woman sues diocese for incident in 2002

By Lawrence Buser
Saturday, August 18, 2007

Memphis, TN:  A 33-year-old Memphis woman has filed suit against the Catholic Diocese of Memphis, claiming that a priest sexually molested and raped her.

The Circuit Court suit filed by "Jane Doe 4" also contends that the diocese had previous complaints of inappropriate sexual conduct by Rev. Gregory Salata but did nothing to protect her or other church members.

The woman was a high school senior in 1992 when she went to Salata for counseling and advice, but in 2002 the priest used her trust and vulnerability to sexually molest and then rape her, the suit said.

The suit seeks unspecified monetary damages.

Salata has been at St. Louis Church, St. Paul the Apostle Church, St. Ann Church in Bartlett and last year was assigned to Campus Ministry at the University of Memphis.

Diocese spokesman Rev. John Geaney said Friday that Salata is no longer at the campus and has been removed from ministry, which means he can perform no priestly functions.

"We always take whatever allegations that are made very seriously and the process for dealing with these situations goes on," Geaney said.

Two months ago the diocese reached undisclosed financial settlements with three Vietnamese-American women who said Rev. Joseph Nguyen had sexually abused them from 1994 to 1999. Nguyen is no longer involved in any ministries and has no contact with children or parishioners.

The diocese said the settlement is not an admission of liability.


For immediate release:
Monday, August 20
Contact information:
Ann Brentwood, Southeastern Director, SNAP, (865) 984 7092, (865) 607-6119 cell
Susan Vance, State Director of SNAP of Tennessee  (865) 748-3518 cell
David Brown, Memphis Director, SNAP (901) 569-4500 cell
David Clohessy, National Director, SNAP (314) 566-9790 cell
Memphis priest accused of rape
“Did Catholic bishop and clergy know of problem priest’s past,” SNAP asks.
SNAP asks the people of Memphis to demand more honesty and transparency
Victims urged to come forward, says SNAP leaders
Remove all remaining predator priests from the diocese promptly and decisively, Group demands
The criminal activity of another Memphis priest made public through the heroic effort of a courageous victim.
“Bishop Steib must disclose all information related to sexual misconduct by any clergy person or employee of the diocese.  The protection of the public cannot be ensured hiding criminal conduct,”says Ann Brentwood, Southeastern Director of SNAP.  “Bishop Steib has a responsibility and moral obligation to the public to protect them from known abusive clerics.”
“We are troubled because we have another charge of clergy sexual abuse when we just heard last week from the Bishop that the Diocese of Memphis got high marks on the latest Gavin Associates' Report.  Something is not right.  Either the information they turned in was not truthful or the standards for reporting are wrong,” says David Brown, Memphis Director of SNAP. 
“Bishop Steib needs to take aggressive steps to break the church’s long-standing culture of secrecy and publicly prod victims and witnesses to contact law enforcement,” says Brentwood.
“In many cases, bishops do nothing, which means they’re basically helping the accused,” said David Clohessy, National Director of SNAP. “Steib has a moral duty to do everything in his power to urge victims and witnesses to report to police.  SNAP urges Bishop Steib to visit each parish where the predator priest has been assigned and urge victims and witnesses to come forward.”
“If the community at large is to be safe, it is critical that anyone who knows about or suspects this or any priest’s misconduct breaks their silence now,” says Susan Vance, Tennessee State Director of SNAP.
“Even now, many Catholics feel that publicly disclosing or discussing abuse brings shame on their church,” said David Brown. “Steib must confront this dangerous notion and assure his flock that secrecy is what hurts the church and victims. By sharing what they know about clergy sex crimes, they are helping to make children, teens, and vulnerable adults safer and churches healthier.”

Tennessee exports pedophile priest to Arkansas

Press conference on Wednesday, October 17th, at 10:30 a.m. CDT in Little Rock, Arkansas.  Click here to go to our SNAP of Arkansas site.
According to the public record in the Official Catholic Directory dated 1965, Paul Haas was assigned outside the diocese at Catholic High School for Boys in Little Rock.  Haas is a known abuser; a fact not disputed by the diocese of Nashville, Tennessee.  Did Tennessee pass on a pedophile to Arkansas?  Looks like it from the public record.  Click here to download this entire page from the Official Catholic Directory - PDF format. 

 Tip of the Iceberg Rally

Click here to go to the Tip of the Iceberg Rally information



Catholic bishop publicly honors pedophile ex-priest

Clergy sex abuse victims slam his ?deceit? and ?recklessness?

Serial predator is being defrocked but Nashville officials keep this secret

Molesters? career shows he had access to kids in three dioceses: Knoxville, Nashville, Memphis

Lawsuits settled with Memphis diocese; more cases of child sex abuse pending against ex-priest

SNAP urges church employees to help reach out to others who are ?still suffering in shame & silence?

"Insensitivity" by Choby and Ryan High School rubs salt into wounds of victims, support group says

It also deters others who've been hurt from coming forward, exposing predators, and getting help, they fear

At a sidewalk press conference, clergy sex abuse victims will urge Catholic church officials in Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville to
- tell the truth about a predator priest who is credibly accused by the diocese of Memphis and is being removed from the priesthood.  The people have been told that he has been ?vindicated.?  As of now, cases against him continue to climb. 
- apologize for their lack of action to correct the public perception that St. Charles has been vindicated
- warn parishioners and the public - through diocesan websites and parish bulletins ? about him, and
- apologize for publicly honoring him even after child molestation lawsuits against him were settled and others are being filed

12:30 p.m., Saturday, September 29th

On the sidewalk in front of the Cathedral of the Incarnation, 2015 W End Ave, Nashville, TN

Several clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters who are members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

Nashville native and resident Paul St. Charles was sued in Memphis for molesting boys. In July 2007, some lawsuits were settled (but other civil lawsuits against him remain pending). In 2004, the diocesan review board advised Bishop Terry Steib to request that the Vatican defrock St. Charles.  Steib did so because the allegations against St. Charles were deemed "credible."



Worse, even after he was suspended and is being defrocked, Bishop Choby publicly honored St. Charles at the Golden Grad ceremony at Ryan High School in June. St. Charles continues to be given the title of "Father." The people of Nashville believe that St. Charles has been "vindicated." The bishop and priests deliberately refuse to correct this error despite promises of transparency.

The service record of Paul St. Charles crosses each Tennessee Diocese.


Such insensitivitity and recklessness, SNAP believes, hurts those already wounded and puts kids at risk of more abuse. They want church officials to apologize for and explain their hurtful actions and take concrete steps to alert families about St. Charles? status and crimes.

Susan Vance, SNAP of Tennessee state director, [email protected], 865-748-3518
David Clohessy, National Director of SNAP, 314 566 9790

Cases against Memphis priests settled

Today in Memphis, SNAP of Tennessee will hold a press conference to discuss the cases settled against two Memphis priests.  Will this be the end?  NO!  This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Read the article in the Memphis Daily News for August 23, 2007.

Date settled
Docket #
CT-004851-06, Div. 6
Jane Doe #1
Joseph Nguyen
CT-005076-06, Div. 6
Jane Doe #2
Joseph Nguyen
CT-005886-06, Div.6
Jane Doe #3
Joseph Nguyen
CT-004692-05, Div. 51 Victim
Paul St. Charles
CT-005869-05, Div. 81 Victim
Paul St. Charles
CT-004275-04, Div. 92 Victims
Richard Mickey
CT-006172-06, Div. 31 Victim
Paul St. Charles

Click here to down load this table and other information provided by Memphis SNAP director, David Brown.

SNAP of Tennessee responds to appointment of Kurtz as archbishop

June 12, 2007:  Bishop Joseph Kurtz, bishop of Knoxville, has been appointed archbishop of Louisville, KY.  SNAP of Tennessee responds to this announcment as follows.

As archbishop of Louisville, Bishop Kurtz will still be in a position to know the problems across the entire state of Tennessee as well as Kentucky.  Victims of Clergy abuse are hopeful that he will handle his future duties with more compassion than he has done so far in the diocese of Knoxville.  We hope Bishop Kurtz will do a better job of listening to the pleas of victims in the following areas: 

1.  Naming the names of perpetrating priests across the diocese of Knoxville.  To date the people of the diocese of Knoxville are unaware of the large numbers of molesting priests and the hundreds of their victims across East Tennessee.  Kurtz has consistently answered our requests with a “Not-in my backyard attitude” as he shuffles responsibility off to Nashville, claiming “we weren’t a diocese then.”  This is painful to victims and is deceitful to the people in the pews who are expecting truth and transparency.  Such callous disregard for the feeling of victims is painful and wrong.  See presentation at about the deceit of the diocese of Knoxville by clicking here.   Message to Bishop Kurtz:  Tell us the names. 

2.  Bishop Kurtz will not be able to side-step his responsibilities as he did in Knoxville.  He will not be able to say, “We only go back to 1988.”  He has trained the entire diocese of Knoxville to think that nothing happened here before we became our own diocese in 1988, yet the Catholic community of Knoxville only underwent a name change from “diocese of Nashville” to “diocese of Knoxville.”  The pain of victims is real and pre-dates the 1988 timeline.  The abuse that occurred here happened by Catholic clergy and is very real and very present to the victims.  Message to Bishop Kurtz:  Tell us the extent of the abuse and when and where it occurred.  

3.  Kurtz came to Knoxville after pedophile bishop, Anthony J. O’Connell.  Bishop Kurtz has allowed and encouraged the churches and schools to keep O’Connell’s pictures on display.  The message sent to victims of abuse by refusing the simple request to take down a molesters picture sent a clear message to victims that if O'Connell remained honored their abuse was of no matter (concern) to the Bishop.  Message to Bishop Kurtz:  Correct this insensitivity before you go.  Take down O’Connell’s pictures. 

Ann Brentwood, Southeast Coordinator of SNAP , 865-984-7092
Susan  Vance, SNAP of Tennessee, 865-748-3518

5th Anniversary of Resignation of Anthony J. O'Connell, 1st bishop of Knoxville

March 8, 2007, marks the 5th anniversary of the resignation of Bishop Anthony J. O'Connell. 

Letter sent to pastors of parishes and principals of Catholic schools on March 6, 2007
Letter to be deliverd to Bishop Joseph Kurtz on the 5th anniversary of the resignation of Anthony J. O'Connell

On March 28, 2003, we met with Bishop Kurtz and expressed our concerns about the lack of facts among the people of the diocese concerning the abuse by Anthony J. O'Connell.  Here is a copy of that letter. 

Press release for press conference in Knoxville on March 8, 2007. 

O'Connell stated in the press that he had abuse "one maybe two" teenage boys.  Read the expose by the St. Louis Dispatch that will show that to have been totally false.

Background information on O'Connell's pictures being left on display in churches and schools.
Article 1  Place of Honor for a Pedophile
Article 2  Victims write about taking name off St. Mary's Oak Ridge family life center.
Article 3
Article 4

"Where's the Perp?"  A continuing series of YouTube presentations about where O'Connell's picture is still on display.
Bishop's Office
St. John Neumann
Knoxville Catholic High School
Many more to come . . . . .

Information for West Palm Beach
Article 1  Scandal still settling in West Palm Beach - National Catholic Reporter
Article 2  New Bishop faces old problem

SNAP on YouTube

Florida information

Letter to Bishop Galeone of St. Augustine, FL  Click here. 

SNAP Press Conference in Miami  --  Click here for press relesse.

Letter sent to Bishop J.C. Favalora -- Click here. 

SNAP of Tennessee website

Memphis Wheel of Corruption

The information is overwhelming.  We have depicted Memphis in the Wheel of Corruption.  Hopefully this will summarize much of the information.

Click here for the web version of the Memphis Wheel of Corruption. 

Click here for the Flash version of the Memphis Wheel of Corruption.

Click here for the Executable version of the Memphis Wheel of Corruption.  This will download to your computer. 

The Cover-up in Tennessee


Except for a few bishops across the United States, most bishops will not truly protect the people by letting us know the who-when-where of abusive clergy in their dioceses.

all your diocese and ask why we had to dig for this information.  Should this not be made available under the concept of disclosure and transparency?

JANUARY 2005 - Here is the latest plea from SNAP for complete transparency.Click here.

Click here for the questions from the John Jay Study released on February 27, 2004.  This is a voluntary self survey relying on the honesty of each diocese and the reliability of the records of each diocese. 

Here is the response of the diocese of Knoxville when requested to tell us the names of abusive priests who could have harmed our children.  The answer is in the form of a response to a letter to the editor in the March 7, 2004, East Tennessee CatholicIf this outrages you as much as it does us, do something about it.

Greg Bullough has a reasoned approach to the release of names.  Read what Greg has to say.Click here.

SNAP of Tennessee

SNAP of Tennessee is here to help victims of clergy sexual abuse.  We will stand by you, we will walk with you, we will believe you.  Give us a chance to show our concern.  Join a self-help support group.  Find out more about this. Contact us.

Tell us the names. Tell us where they are. Who is safe until you do? Why are we still having to ask for this?!

Each diocese has the answers.  We are not allowed to know.
Each diocese has the list.  We are not allowed to see it.
Each diocese has a secret group of abusers who are being hidden.  We are kept in the dark.
Each diocese knows the truth.  We are never told.
Each diocese hides their pedophiles.  Kids are not safe.  We cannot sleep at night. 
Clergy sex offenders don't make it to the state's sex offender list.  We ask that our officials find a way to correct this. 
We demand that our children, teens and vulnerable adults be protected.  We deserve at least that much truth from the diocese. 

Letter from SNAP of Tennessee to Administrator of the Diocese of Nashville.  Click here (Word).  Click here. (HTML)
Letter from Mike Coode, Coordinator of SNAP of Nashville, to Paul St. Charles.  Click here
Statement from survivors of David Kelley.  Click here (Word).  Click here (HTML).
Ohio Supreme Court to hear appeal from David Kelley's victims.  Click here

Tennessee beware! Survivor comes to Fairfield Glade to warn of abuser moving to town

The daily news is full of stories of frightened parents trying to find out if child molesters are moving in next door.  Fairfield Glade will find out Saturday that a molester has moved in, and this former priest's victim will be telling them face-to-face.

Vicky Cubberley and four of her supporters are traveling from New Jersey to warn the Fairfield Glade neighborhood about the man moving in next door.  Since the Catholic Church never took action, Vicky's New Jersey friends will join Tennessee SNAP members to protect the children and grandchildren in the Crossville area.

Click here to see the press release, the story, and other supporting documentation. 

Information concerning press conference in Memphis, December 16th

Survivors and advocates ask for opening/reopening of cases against four Memphis priests.

James W. Murphy, William Kantner, Joseph Reilly, and Richard Mickey.
Press conference coverage in Memphis 12-16-05
to the officials of Tennesee dioceses
about four priests that victims are asking to be investigated/reinvestigated.

Notes for press conference 011206

Click here to download notes for press conference.
Click here to download letter to Bishop Joseph Kurtz.

Op-Ed by Mike Wegs

Op-Ed section by Michael Wegs, a survivor of clergy sexual abuse.  Mike's perpetrator, Anthony J. O'Connell was the first bishop of Knoxville.  Mike will be writing op-ed articles on various topics of interest to the survivor community.  Click here and check out the many topics that Mike has made available to date.

"Breaking the Silence in Tennessee" November 2005

Click on the album cover on the left.  We are adding more photos of our "Breaking the Silence in Tennessee Exhibit" as the days go on.  Click on the "hands" on the bottom of each page to navigate.  
Here are the three ways to view the slide show of our Breaking the Silence in Tennessee Exhibit.  Choose the one that is best for you.

1.    This is the best way to see the slide show in highest resolution, but you may have to download a free plugin to do it.  Click here.  If you cannot download the slide show from Photodex, follow this link to download the free plugin (Photodex Presenter), and it should work.

2.    Click here to view the slide show on a separate page of the November 5th Breaking the Silence debut in Nashville.

3.    If you want to download an executable (standalone) file that you can watch from your computer at any time, click here.  This will definitely take some time to download, but it would be worthwhile to have it on your own computer. You can watch this without a connection to the internet.

Breaking the Silence in Tennessee November 2005 Information on press conferences, etc

Knoxville Press Release        Map to Knoxville Press Conference
Nashville Press Release         Map to Nashville Press Conference
Memphis Press Release         Map to Memphis Press Conference
Information on James W. Murphy.  A man abused by Murphy will speak in all three cities. 
Information on Harry E. Monroe.  This abusive priest has been living in Nashville and working at a health care facility.