Leaders of 2 groups appeal to pope about worst Jesuit abuse cases
First Jesuit pope has unique opportunity and obligation
Pope Francis must make Jesuits “clean house,” groups say
Jesuit provincials must disclose names of known abusers, as 25 bishops have done
Jesuits operate schools and colleges worldwide; access to children deepens the problem
At a news conference, a Catholic researcher and a US clergy sex abuse victim will:
-- release a list of the four worst public Jesuit abuse cases worldwide;
-- give an overview of how the order has responded to the crisis so far;
-- explain why it is crucial that the new Pope push the Jesuits to reform
TODAY, Friday, March 15 at 1:30 p.m.
Orange Hotel, 86 Via Crescenzio 00193, Roma +39.06.6868969
Two leaders of the US-based groups:
--Anne Barrett Doyle of Boston, a Catholic mom who is the co-director of the international watchdog group BishopAccountability.org
--David Clohessy of St. Louis, an abuse victim who is the director of an international support called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)
As the first Jesuit pope, Francis has a historic opportunity to make the Jesuits finally address their massive problem of child sexual abuse.
The Jesuits are the largest Catholic religious order in the world, and their high schools and universities are elite institutions in the educational systems of many countries. They also have a massive missionary presence in the developing world.
The cases profiled in the press conference – from Haiti, Germany, and native Americans in Alaska -- will provide a window into the way abuse cases are managed within the system of Jesuit provinces.
Sexual abuse in the religious orders, which often concentrated their efforts on children in schools, has not received as much attention as abuse in dioceses. As the largest religious order in the United States, numbering 2,795 priests, brothers, and scholastics in 2010, the Jesuits have access to minors in their high schools, their colleges and universities, their parish ministries, and their domestic missionary work among Native Americans in Alaska and the West. The results have sometimes been horrifying for the children involved.
BishopAccountability.org has been able to identify 146 Jesuit clerics in the United States who have been accused of sexually abusing minors. That number is certainly a fraction of the true total, they say. Barrett Doyle will distribute the list of these clerics at the press conference.
Founded in 2003, BishopAccountability.org is based in Waltham, Massachusetts, USA, and documents the crisis of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. It offers an online collection of more than 100,000 pages of church records, legal documents, and media reports. Its hardcopy archive is approaching one million pages. The mission of the organization is to give the public convenient access to information pertaining to the abuse crisis in the U.S. and worldwide. An independent non-profit corporation, BishopAccountability.org is an archive and a data center. It is not a victims' advocacy group or a reform group.
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, is based in Chicago and has more than 12,000 members in 65 nations (but we have heard from victims in more than 100 countries). Despite the word “priest” in our title, we help people who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org.
Anne Barrett Doyle 001 781 439 5208 or 001 (39) 781 439 5208 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Hotel Hilton Garden Inn (39) 06 845441, fax (39) 06 8555171
David Clohessy's Italian cell 334 791 2239 or 339 215 7504 (SNAPclohessy@aol.com) or at the Hotel Cambridge, Via Palestro 87, Rome 00185 (011 39 06 49384917)
Clohessy will be in Rome until Wednesday, March 20. Barrett-Doyle will be in Rome until Sunday, March 17.
Sincerely, Dr Rosemary Eileen McHugh, Chicago