KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — A priest sexual abuse survivor group is calling on the Kalamazoo Diocese to publish a list of alleged predatory priests who have served there.
Three survivors with theSurvivors Network of those Abused by Priests gathered across the street from the Diocese's headquarters Thursday morning to make their voices heard.
Ann Phillips Browning says she was abused as a young teenager by Rev. Jacob Vellian when he was in Benton Harbor talked about trying to tell her mother about the abuse she had suffered.
"And she says, 'Oh honey, you must have misunderstood his touches. A priest would never do that.' And his excuse was always that he was from a medical missionary. Didn't I want to be holier? Didn't I want more of the holy spirit?" Phillips Browning said of Vellian, who is now in India.
SNAP is traveling around the Midwest, demanding bishops who haven't already done so publicly release the names of credibly accused priests, nuns, bishops, seminarians and lay staff along with their photos, whereabouts and full work history.
In Kalamazoo, SNAP identified the priests as Rev. Gregory H. Poser, Rev. Thomas F. DeVita, Rev. Michael Howard Weston, Rev. Richard Ohlemacher, Rev. Leonard Bogdan and Rev. Carl Anthony Peltz. The group says they're mostly accused of abusing children in other states and countries and were suspended and defrocked by Catholic officials.
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