A national victims support group wants Valley church and law enforcement leaders to keep trying to have three priests charged with molesting children returned to Arizona for trial.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests made the request in letters Monday to Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas and Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix.
"We just want to make sure this doesn’t get forgotten about," said Paul Pfaffenberger of Gilbert, SNAP’s local leader.
Thomas spokesman Bill FitzGerald said the county attorney is seeking extradition of the three priests, but the matter is now in the hands of the U.S. State Department.
Diocese spokeswoman Mary Jo West said Olmsted has also done everything within canon law to get the three priests to return.
Grand juries in 2003 indicted the Rev. Patrick O. Colleary, former associate pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Scottsdale; the Rev. Joseph Briceno, former associate pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Chandler; and the Rev. Joseph Henn, formerly of St. Mark’s Catholic Church in Phoenix, on numerous counts alleging they molested children.
Colleary is in Ireland, Briceno is believed to be in Mexico and Henn in Rome.