Advocates for survivors of the Catholic clergy sex abuse scandal are now asking a local church to reconsider ordaining a minister who is a registered sex offender. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer has more.
A few local members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests — or SNAP — stood outside Louisville’s City of Refuge Worship Center Thursday. They were there to request the church reconsider its plans to ordain Mark Hourigan to the position of minister this Sunday. He was convicted 10 years ago of sex abuse involving an 11-year-old boy.
Cal Pfeiffer was one SNAP member at the church.
“We’re asking them to consider the risks that they’re going to take if they’re going to go ahead in it,” Pfeifer says. “We’re asking them to not rush into it. We’ve only been aware of this for only two weeks. They should hold off on this, discuss this more, get more information. ”
Rochelle Fournier is another SNAP member who voiced concern about the church’s plans.
“Mr. Hourigan is in a situation where he can be appointed to a position of great trust and great power,” she says. “And to be in this position also allows him to be in a situation where he can abuse that power and abuse that trust.”
Hourigan could become the first-known sex offender to become an ordained minister. He and Pastor Randy Meadows appeared on CNN earlier this week to discuss the issue. Meadows did not return calls to WFPL.
Pfeiffer says the church should look at what has happened in other communities of faith that have already had to face sex abuse issues.
“They should take some example from the Catholic Church,” Pfeiffer says, “who have had to deal with over 5,000 of these type of individuals, paid out over $2 billion, so far. And they’ve created policies for someone like this who has been convicted to be pulled out of ministry.”