Organization calls on Fresno's bishop to acknowledge abuse allegations in local Catholic churches

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- With a blanket of the faces of survivors as the backdrop, volunteers with the non-profit Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, asked for acknowledgment and transparency from Bishop Joseph Brennan.

"Instead of protecting and shielding accused serial molesters, he should be thinking about protecting kids," said Joey Piscitelli.

Piscitelli and two other survivors held signs and pictures of themselves when they were younger. They applauded other victims who have come forward also to reveal a dark secret they carried for years.

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Esther Hatfield Miller says she has personally taken calls from several new alleged victims of Monsignor Craig Harrison. Harrison is now on leave from the Bakersfield church he oversaw.

"One is from Bakersfield, one is from Merced, and the other one from Firebaugh and the other surrounding areas," she said.

Miller says the stories are similar in nature and the number of accusers is growing.

"What they are saying is similar abuse, strategies, tactics and processes and he was Father Craig then," she said.

The survivors are also asking Bishop Brennan to release the names of those clerics who have served in the Fresno diocese and have been accused of abuse.

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"The Catholic Bishops say they are being transparent now more than ever," said. "Well then we're calling you out on it. Be transparent."

Bishop Brennan issued a statement Tuesday, saying in part the diocese is still in phase one of their investigation process and continuing to follow their protocol with the eventual phase to include releasing the names of those accused and categorizing them.

So far, no formal criminal charges have been filed against Monsignor Craig Harrison, but at least two police agencies are investigating him.
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