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Samoa moves to deport fugitive priest [Follow-up #1 to 4 part series]
Dallas Morning News ^ | 5-23-04 | REESE DUNKLIN

Posted on 06/23/2004 2:21:44 PM PDT by Salvation

Samoa moves to deport fugitive priest

03:05 PM CDT on Wednesday, June 23, 2004

By REESE DUNKLIN / The Dallas Morning News

The Samoan government, prompted by a Dallas Morning News investigation, is moving to deport a fugitive Catholic priest because he failed to disclose his conviction in a previous child molestation case when entering the country.

The priest’s superiors in the Salesians of Don Bosco religious order also face an immigration inquiry because they, too, failed to make the same disclosures, said Auseuga Poloma Komiti, the senior adviser to Samoa’s prime minister and Cabinet.

Samoan authorities will serve the Rev. Frank Klep a deportation order Wednesday afternoon Dallas time that gives him three days to leave voluntarily or seek an appeal, said Mr. Komiti.

Also Online

Overview: Runaway priests hiding in plain sight

Part 1: Convicted sexual abuser and fugitive works with kids under his religious order's wing
• Government moves to deport fugitive priest

Part 2: Cardinal offered sanctuary to admitted molester
• En español: Intocable

Part 3: Cleric slipped out of U.S., continues to work in Mexico

• En español: Sin penitencia
• Letters:
In English: 1 | 2 | 3
En español: 1 | 2 | 3

Part 4: Church aid, legal lapses leave cleric free to roam
• En español: Iglesia brinda santuario a cura fugitivoa

• Salesians dispute report that they moved suspects in abuse

Multimedia: Runaway Priests

Print: .pdf versions of DMN pages
• June 20: 1A | 20A | 21A | 22A
• June 21: 1A | 8A | 9A
June 22: 1A | 10A | 11A
June 23: 1A | 12A | 13A

If he goes without a fight or loses an appeal, he’ll be forced back to Australia, where he is the subject of a nationwide arrest warrant on five indecent assault charges. Samoan officials said they would coordinate Father Klep’s return with Australian authorities.

"We can't help but think what was foremost was to have Father Klep evade the law by assigning him overseas," said Mr. Komiti. They were not thinking or giving two hoots about the children of this country.

Father Klep moved to the South Pacific island nation in early 1998 while he was a target of a criminal abuse investigation in the Australian state of Victoria. He told The News his Salesians superior at the time suggested the reassignment because I think he realized that I’d probably feel a bit more comfortable being removed from the situation there in Australia.

The superior, the Rev. John Murphy, has said the priest’s version of events was not altogether true, but declined to elaborate.

The Salesians’ present leader for Australia and the South Pacific, the Rev. Ian Murdoch, also has refused to discuss Father Klep’s move.

But in a written statement earlier this week, Father Murdoch said the Salesians have not moved priests accused of sexual abuse from country to country for the purpose of shielding them; from police. He said that the Salesians have co-operated, and will certainly continue to cooperate, with any law enforcement agency.

Father Murdoch also continued to insist that Father Klep has no contact or ministry with children. But The News observed and photographed him handing candy to children after a Sunday Mass and interviewed teenage boys who said Father Klep had regular interaction with them - from giving them money to tutoring one of them alone in his bedroom.

When Father Klep first arrived in Samoa, he was required to fill out immigration papers stating whether he had any criminal convictions, Mr. Komiti said. But, he added, Father Klep did not state anything.

In 1994, Father Klep was convicted on four charges in the assaults of two former students at a Salesians boarding school outside Melbourne during the 1970s.

After he finished his sentence of community service, he came under investigation again. He was questioned and fingerprinted in 1996 but not arrested. While the case lingered, he moved to Samoa.

Later in 1998, Victoria police filed five additional charges against him and issued an arrest warrant but did not seek extradition. Victoria officials previously told The News that Australia had no formal treaty with Samoa agreeing to the exchange of fugitives.

However, Australian federal authorities this week told The News that Victoria police have never asked them for help. They said they could have sought Father Klep’s return even if the two countries did not have an extradition treaty.

Victoria police said the case is under review and declined further comment.

Beyond Father Klep, the Samoan government is investigating whether the Salesians had a legal obligation under immigration laws to report Father Klep’s criminal record when they sponsored his move to Samoa. If they did, Salesian officials could face penalties including fines or expulsion as well, said Mr. Komiti.

But aside from a legal mandate, Mr. Komiti said, There was a moral imperative to do so. We were disappointed. We have this feeling of being betrayed.

Victoria police have not answered questions from The News about whether they would investigate the Salesians’ role in Father Klep’s departure to Samoa.

The Salesians apparently did not tell Samoa’s top Catholic leader about Father Klep’s 1998 criminal warrant, either.

Archbishop Alapati Mataeliga’s secretary told The News that Father Murdoch had informed local church leaders about the 1994 conviction, but did not fully divulge details of the 1998 charges.

My recollection of our conversation is that he mentioned something like, that they were not in possession of any warrant of arrest, or some wording like that,said the archbishop’s secretary, Puletini M. Tuala.

Mr. Tuala said the archbishop was reconsidering his previous decision to let Father Klep remain in Samoa. The archbishop had told Samoan and Australian reporters that he might force Father Klep out of his archdiocese within a day or two.

Two weeks ago, however, the archbishop had a much different tone.

His secretary wrote in a letter to The News that the archbishop was satisfied after speaking to the Salesians and Father Klep, who admitted abusing one boy but called the incident an accident.

The archbishop also decided that a second Salesian priest who was moved to the island despite an abuse case in Australia could remain. The Salesians paid the Rev. Jack Ayers’ accuser a settlement, according to documents The News obtained.

Although these incidents happened with these two priests, they have dealt with it themselves and with their congregation, Mr. Tuala wrote in a letter. They are valid and allowed to work in our archdiocese, and we are grateful for their services and hard work up to this point.

The Samoan government is also investigating Father Ayers’ entry into Samoa, Mr. Komiti said.



TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: abusivepriests; catholiclist; dallasmorningnews; deprtation; results; salesians; samoa; scandal; sexualabuse
Continuing saga...............
1 posted on 06/23/2004 2:21:48 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: Salvation
Runaway priests hiding in plain sight [First installment of DMN series

Cardinal offered sanctuary to admitted molester [Dallas Morning News - 2nd in a series]

Cleric slipped out of U.S., continues to work in Mexico-3rd in a series

Church aid, legal lapses leave cleric free to roam -- 4th in a series

Samoa moves to deport fugitive priest

2 posted on 06/23/2004 2:25:11 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Admin Moderator

Thank you!


3 posted on 06/23/2004 2:31:03 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
His secretary wrote in a letter to The News that the archbishop was satisfied after speaking to the Salesians and Father Klep, who admitted abusing one boy but called the incident an accident.

Well, gee, if it was just an accident... I guess that means they think it could happen to anyone...
4 posted on 06/23/2004 2:31:38 PM PDT by Stone Mountain
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To: *Catholic_list; father_elijah; nickcarraway; SMEDLEYBUTLER; Siobhan; Lady In Blue; attagirl; ...
Catholic Discussion Ping!

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Catholic Discussion Ping List.

5 posted on 06/23/2004 2:32:25 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Stone Mountain

**I guess that means they think it could happen to anyone...**

And it probably will happen to the next boy that happens along.


6 posted on 06/23/2004 2:34:13 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

Reaction time from the first of the DMN series is amazingly short -- don't you think?

Hmmmm.


7 posted on 06/23/2004 2:35:01 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Klep is mentioned in the First part of this series. Click on the link in #2 above.


8 posted on 06/23/2004 2:36:33 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
Oh Salvation, what is it with the Salesians? Poor St. John Bosco...sigh
9 posted on 06/23/2004 2:36:53 PM PDT by COBOL2Java (If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading this in English, thank a soldier.)
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To: COBOL2Java; ninenot

My opinion is that the DMN picked out names of molestors and followed the stories. Could have been Jesuits, Franciscans, Benedictines -- you name it.

What do you think?

On the other hand, is this the Holy Spirit at work just starting with this order?


10 posted on 06/23/2004 2:40:08 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Could be. I was more thinking on the line of where were the Salesian superiors in the past. Not so much as what is occurring now, but how an order that does so much good could be asleep at the switch for so long. It breaks my heart, both for the mission itself and for the victims.


11 posted on 06/23/2004 2:42:11 PM PDT by COBOL2Java (If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading this in English, thank a soldier.)
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To: COBOL2Java

I'm trying to remember who said they went to school run by the Salesians. Said it was the best education ever. I'll look back and try to find it.

And the Church will recover.

We need to remember that the Church moves a little more slowly that the U.S. bureaucracy............

Big government has his drawbacks whether it is civil oriented or church oriented, huh?


12 posted on 06/23/2004 2:46:43 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: al_c

Over here!


13 posted on 06/23/2004 2:49:38 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
This excerpt is from the Catholic Encyclopedia:
The Salesian Society, founded by Saint John Bosco, takes its distinctive name from its patron, Saint Francis de Sales. The object for which it was founded may be best seen from the opening words of its constitution: "the Christian perfection of its associates obtained by the exercise of spiritual and corporal works of charity towards the young, especially the poor, and the education of boys to the priesthood." The cradle of the institute may truthfully be said to have been the fields of Valdocco, at that time a suburb but now an integral part of the city of Turin. In the first half of the nineteenth century Italy had not recovered from the disastrous consequences of the false and atheistical philosophical teachings brought into the country at the time of the French Revolution. For this reason education, morality, and religion were then at their lowest ebb. To save the rising generation the Salesian Society was founded. In 1844 Don Bosco began to gather together poor and neglected boys. He found places for them to play in, taught them Catechism and heard their confessions in the open air, afterwards taking them to one of the churches in the city, where he used to say Mass for them and give them holy Communion. These gatherings, called "Festive Oratories", became one of the most important and useful works of the institute in attracting boys. In 1845 the first night-school was opened at Valdocco, and became a permanent institution in the course of a year. It proved such a success that a second one was opened (1847) at Porto Nuovo, and a third at Vanchiglia (1849). In the beginning Don Bosco, for lack of personnel, was forced to make use of the older and more advanced pupils, setting them as teachers and monitors over the others, but necessity soon forced him to form a regular and permanent trained staff. Many of his boys, too, began to develop vocations for the priesthood, and became clerics, while still continuing to assist in the work of education. Much opposition was made to the growing institute, but Mgr. Franzoni, then Archbishop of Turin, took it under his protection, and even the king, Charles Albert, who had heard of Don Bosco's work, became its patron, and it steadily grew. It was, however, found impossible, in many cases, to make a permanent impression on the character of the boys during the short time that they were under the influence of the teachers at the festive oratories and the night-schools. A very large number of the boys had not only to earn their living, but had to learn a trade beforehand to enable them to do so. Thus a new class of boys arose -- the boy-artisans -- which constituted the second division of good works in the rising institute.

...

Although the real object of the Salesian Society is the Christian education of the young, especially of the poorer and middle classes, it does not refuse any work of charity for which it has suitable members. In carrying out its principal work, instead of the old punitive or repressive system, it adopts the preventive one, thus promoting confidence and love among the children, instead of fear and hatred. The success of this method is seen from the number of vocations drawn from its ranks. The young aspirants are imbued with the Salesian spirit even before joining the congregation. One year is spent in the novitiate, after which triennial vows are taken before the tyro is admitted to his final profession. The growth of the congregation may be seen from the fact that it contains about 320 houses, distributed into 34 provinicalates, of which 18 are in Europe, and the remaining 16 in America. The houses in Asia and Africa belong to European provinces. There has been no diminution except in France, where most of the houses were suppressed during the regime of persecution under Combes. The houses in Portugal were left untouched during the late change in government. In 1910 the second father general of the congregation died, and was succeeded by Don Albera. The main work of the institute is the education and training of boys divided into two classes, students and artisans. The second branch is the missionary one, and it finds its scope principally in South America and Asia. The third branch is engaged in the education of adults for the priesthood and the fourth is occupied in the diffusion of good Catholic literature. The order obtains its support largely from the generosity of the Salesian co-operators, who, as a third order, contribute largely for this purpose, and to whom the "Salesian Bulletin" is sent monthly, to keep them informed on the progress of the work in distant lands, and to urge them to greater generosity.


14 posted on 06/23/2004 2:50:31 PM PDT by COBOL2Java (If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading this in English, thank a soldier.)
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To: Salvation
And the Church will recover.

Of that I have no doubt, however painful it is for we faithful.

15 posted on 06/23/2004 2:52:39 PM PDT by COBOL2Java (If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading this in English, thank a soldier.)
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To: vikingchick
Interesting article!!!

Samoa at least has the guts to deport those they do not want in their country.....

16 posted on 06/23/2004 2:56:05 PM PDT by BossLady (What do your choices cost you????)
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To: BossLady

I worked in the yard this morning, then went to Mass and then posted this -- so I'll be back after I finish with a couple other threads.


17 posted on 06/23/2004 3:03:26 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: BossLady

They are to be commended. Turnaround time of only four days since this series in the left-leaning Dalls Morning News started.


18 posted on 06/23/2004 5:13:44 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

**If he goes without a fight or loses an appeal, hell be forced back to Australia, where he is the subject of a nationwide arrest warrant on five indecent assault charges. Samoan officials said they would coordinate Father Klep's return with Australian authorities.**

I guess I missed the Austailia link in the life of this priest when I read their first story. I thought he was on some island in the South Pacific.


19 posted on 06/23/2004 5:15:55 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

** whether the Salesians had a legal obligation under immigration laws to report Father Klep's criminal record when they sponsored his move to Samoa.**

This is going to be a big undertaking for orders to police and report on all the transfers, but it needs to be done. If it can be done about the dioceses of the U. S., then I would think it could be done among the orders.


20 posted on 06/23/2004 5:18:40 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: COBOL2Java

St. Francis deSales, the great missionary, pray for us.


21 posted on 06/23/2004 5:21:08 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Salvation,Thank's for the ping,prayers of reparation ongoing now.


22 posted on 06/23/2004 5:37:55 PM PDT by fatima (My Granddaughter Karen is Home-WOOHOO We unite with all our troops and send our love-)
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To: Salvation

Maybe they should send instructions to the US Govt! ;)


23 posted on 06/23/2004 5:54:57 PM PDT by BossLady (What do your choices cost you????)
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To: BossLady

And to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles c/o Roger Cardinal Mahoney.


24 posted on 06/23/2004 8:21:49 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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