January 18, 2012
High School Teacher from Milwaukee Archdiocese resigns following reports of sexual assault
Religion teacher taught at St. Catherine’s in Racine for 30 years
Statement by John Pilmaier, SNAP Wisconsin Director
The Racine Journal Times reports today that a teacher from the archdiocese of Milwaukee has officially resigned following reports of sexual assault. The teacher, Gary Craanen, taught at St. Catherine’s High School in Racine for thirty years. In a letter to the school community dated January 13th, St. Catherine’s President Christopher Olley explained the reasons for Craanen’s departure.
School officials at St. Catherine’s had been notified that reports of sexual assault had been made against Craanen when he was vice-principal and disciplinarian at Divine Word Seminary High School in Bordentown, New Jersey. The reports concerning Craanen’s sexual assault of students is due to be published in an upcoming book about clergy sexual abuse in the diocese of Trenton, New Jersey.
Archbishop Listecki should immediately reach out to the parents and students of St. Catherine’s and encourage them to come forward and report to law enforcement any information they have pertaining to Craanen’s possible victimization of children in the Racine community.
It is also important that Listecki make clear that anyone who may have been harmed by an employee of the archdiocese of Milwaukee is eligible to file a confidential claim for restitution with the US bankruptcy court before the deadline of February 1st, 2012. This includes those individuals who may have been assaulted by teachers or staff members who work in the archdiocese’s vast school system.
SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world's oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We've been around for 23 years and have more than 10,000 members. Despite the word "priest" in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our national website is SNAPnetwork.org.