BOLIVIA- Brave men arrested for attempting to deliver letter to Pope
For immediate release Friday July 10, 2015
Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, president of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (+1 312-399-4747, bblaine@SNAPnetwork.org)
Three young men have been arrested in Bolivia (and apparently held for 14 hours) after trying to deliver a letter to Pope Francis about a controversial Chilean bishop the pontiff promoted.
We applaud the courage of these men who are concerned about the horrific track record of Bishop Juan Barros, who concealed and, some say, participated in child sex crimes by Fr. Fernando Karadima.
While we don’t know many details of their arrest, we suspect it was an over-reaction by authorities. We hope the arrest was not in response to pressure from Catholic officials. We commend Mario Vargas, Juan Carlos Claret and Felipe Navarrete for trying to protect children and get a corrupt church official out of office.
Pope Francis should reach out to, and listen to, these brave men. The pope should also demote Barros immediately and apologize for his callous and irresponsible promotion of Barros.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 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 website is SNAPnetwork.org)
CONTACT: David Clohessy (+1 314-566-9790 cell, firstname.lastname@example.org), Barbara Dorris (+1 314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, email@example.com)