Media Statements and Events

IL--Accused imam in court today; Victims respond

For immediate release: Monday, Aug. 22, 2016

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, national president member of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747,

We are grateful that an abuse case against a prominent Chicago Muslim cleric may soon get resolved. But now is not the time for complacency. It’s time for every single person who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes or misdeeds by Mohammad Abdullah Saleem – or cover ups by or at the Institute for Islamic Education – to come forward, get help, call police, expose wrongdoers and protect kids.   

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TX--Archbishop lets suspended priest work again

For immediate release, Friday, August 19, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy, Director, SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) 314 566

San Antonio's archbishop is letting a priest who was suspended for sexual misconduct quietly work in his archdiocese. He should reverse this reckless decision.

Last year, Fr. Marco Mercado was stopped from working in the Chicago archdiocese because of "an inappropriate adult relationship." These are the words used by Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich. Note he didn't say "ALLEGED relationship." Nor did he say "one time incident."

This was, we strongly suspect, a repeated series of selfish, hurtful violations of a vulnerable young person, one who was likely taught since birth to revere and trust priests. And every sexual contact between a Catholic cleric and a Catholic parishioner is, by definition, improper and unhealthy, in part because of the huge power differential between the two. 

Cupich and San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller are doing what bishops have done for decades: splitting hairs and making excuses instead of protecting parishioners. 

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