“SNAP has an unceasing blood lust for going after priests and the Church. Whether the allegations are founded or not, it doesn’t matter to them,” said Maher, who told OSV that he sent two representatives last year to SNAP’s conference, but that they left two hours later because they were put off by the anger and foul language.
"What's happened in Philadelphia has called attention to the fact that there are innocent priests who've been thrown under the bridge," said Maher, who plans to meet this week with some of the suspended priests.
Joe Maher, president of Opus Bono Sacerdotii, a group that monitors the incidence of falsely accused priests, says that “at least a thousand priests…have been removed and remain out of public ministry because of unproven accusations.”
by Joan Frawley Desmond, National Catholic Register
Opus Bono Sacerdotii assists bishops and superiors of religious orders to solve the problems of the priesthood, echoes Father Maginot’s concerns. Maher notes that the advocates of accused priests often do not have access to case files and thus cannot respond to undisclosed evidence or subjective evaluations.
Perhaps the best resource today for any accused priest facing a demand that he submit to a Church sponsored evaluation is Opus Bono Sacerdotii. Their website is filled with helpful information and solid advice for priests and their supporters.
Joe Maher of Opus Bono Sacerdotii says priests have been sacrificed to the church's rush to fix a broken system and that even guilty clergy deserve compassion. "The Catholic Church is all about redemption and hope, so we have to live that on Earth," Maher, who regularly circulates e-mails from priests in dire financial straits, says.
Like Williams, many of the removed priests struggle to provide for themselves, said Joe Maher, who started a defense fund for accused priests called Opus Bono Sacerdotii, which means "Work for the Good of the Priesthood." "I think that we have to do a much better job of taking care of our own.".
When a priest calls, Maher said the first thing he and his staffers do is listen. They assess whether the priest needs immediate legal help. They also make sure the priest has necessities such as food and shelter. And they try to evaluate the caller's physical, spiritual and psychological health.
But other priests aren’t so lucky, said Joe Maher, executive director of Opus Bono Sacerdotii, a Michigan-based support group for accused priests. “I know priests who are living out of hotels, eating one meal a day,” he said.
"I completely understand people when it comes to children who have been molested," Maher said. "These cases happened not under the current Holy Father and not under current bishops, but they're put in the position of having to rectify what has happened and still minister to the people of God and lead them into heaven."
Maher concedes the Catholic Church has had problems. "The bishops and the insurance companies that represent the dioceses -- they're afraid of Jeff Anderson, in some sense," Maher said. "It's not a matter of justice. It's a matter of what are we going to have to settle for, (for) Jeff Anderson to go away."
I could not possibly help the thousands of priests that we have cared for since 2002 by myself. We have full time staff, part-time help and volunteers. When a priest needs help, we will do all we can to help him. Because of this, I have wiped out all of my savings, retirement, stock, etc. in order to keep the mission afloat.
"First and foremost any priest that comes to us does it out of confidence that he can talk to us and that we will not publicize his name. This case is one of literally thousands of similar cases that we have dealt. Many of these men are scared for their safety and for their livelihood." Pete Ferrara of Opus Bono said.
by Karen A. Walker, The Official Catholic Directory
Although radically different in its focus from the goals of those groups comprising the emerging trend, Opus Bono Sacerdotii nonetheless exemplifies professional lay expertise brought to the service of priests and the priesthood.
by Dan Valenti, Knights of Columbus Columbia Magazine
Opus Bono Sacerdotii promotes the priesthood and stands by those who have lost everything. In addition to giving direct assistance to priests in need, Opus Bono engages in various activities to "build up" the priesthood.