DC - Abuse Victims Hold Event to Urge U.S. Bishops To DisciplineTheir Colleagues; SNAP Wants Foreign Movement of Predator Priests On Bishops' Nov. Agenda
MEDIA ADVISORY - June 24, 2004
New Investigation Finds Molesting Clergy Still Go Overseas and Minister On The Run From The Law, 200 Abusive Priest Are Sent ElsewhereWHAT
Holding signs at a news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will urge the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Conference to take prompt action against several U.S. bishops who have helped sexually abusive priests evade law enforcement and put discussions of predator priests moving internationally on their agenda for the next national meeting of bishops in Washington, D.C. this November.
Several clergy sex abuse victims who are members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, SNAP, including a national board member
Thursday, June 24, 12:45 p.m.
Outside the US Conference of Bishops national headquarters, 3211 4th Street, NE in Washington, D.C.
A just-completed year-long investigation by the Dallas Morning News has revealed that two hundred known and suspected child molesting Catholic clerics have moved or been transferred across national boundaries. In half of the cases, the men are criminal suspects on the run from the law.
SNAP fears dozens of men and women in this country may have been assaulted by some of these priests.
Specifically, SNAP wants the USCCB to publicly call on Catholics who experienced, witnessed, or suspected abuse by these fugitives to contact police. They also want the Bishops Conference to a) publicly censure any American bishops who helped enable molesters to avoid prosecution by fleeing, b) disinvite them from the Conference's fall meeting in Washington, c) make sure none of them hold offices or chair committees in the Conference, and d) discuss the topic at their November 2004 meeting in Washington.
Finally, despite obstacles inherent in international prosecution, SNAP wants law enforcement to vigorously pursue these molesters. It is urging anyone with information about their crimes to contact police.
Yesterday, SNAP held similar news conferences in New York City and San Francisco, where the world's third largest religious order, the Salesians, are based. SNAP urged Catholics to NOT donate to the Salesians because of their track record of covering up. Bishops in those cities were urged to aggressively reach out to anyone who experienced, witnessed or suspected crimes by Salesian clerics.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP National Director, (314) 566 9790 cell
Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP President (312) 399 4747 cell
Peter Isely of Milwaukee, SNAP Board Member (414) 429 7259 cell, (414) 963 8617
David Cerulli, New York City, SNAP Board Member, (917) 757 1791 cell
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.