Media Statements

MN--Victims oppose possible Nienstedt successor

For immediate release: Tuesday, Jan. 6

Statement by Frank Meuers of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (952-334-5180, frankameuers@gmail.com)

A church insider-turned-whistleblower says that an Iowa bishop may temporarily replace St. Paul’s embattled Catholic archbishop. We hope she’s wrong. We hope Pope Francis will pick someone else.   

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CA--In unusual move, Cosby's publicist is sued

In unusual move, Cosby’s publicist is sued; Victims endorse move

For immediate release: Tuesday, Jan. 6

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

It’s gotten very little attention, but Bill Cosby’s publicist is being sued by an alleged victim of the comedian. We’re encouraged by this and hope it will deter other public relations professions from acting in ways that intimidate rape victims into staying silent.    

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NY--Bronx priest admits abuse

For immediate release: Monday, Jan. 5

Statement by Mary Caplan of New York City leader of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (917 439 4187, mcaplan682@aol.com)

For two full weeks, Catholic officials in New York and Milwaukee have hidden an admission by a priest who worked at a Bronx school that he sexually assaulted kids. Shame on all of them. (See official church statement below.)

On Dec. 22, Fr. Robert Harrison told his Catholic supervisors that he had molested children. He was then suspended from his post at Hayes High School in the Bronx.  

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Rome--Victims of clergy abuse demand action from Pope

Victims of clergy abuse demand action from Pope

While church commemorates innocent children murdered by Herod, victims to Pope: take action

Victimized as children by priests in three different countries they seek prevention

To Pope Francis: Fire predators and order bishops to open records and report evidence to police

For immediate release: December 28, 2014

By Barbara Blaine, SNAP President, +1 312 399 4747, bblaine@SNAPnetwork.org

As Catholics commemorate the biblical story of Herod massacring infants and acknowledge the special vulnerability of children, victims want Pope Francis to take concrete action to protect children now.   

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MI- Orthodox predator sentenced

For immediate release: Saturday, December 27

Statement by Melanie Jula Sakoda of Moraga, California, Orthodox Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (925-708-6175, melanie.sakoda@gmail.com)

A former Orthodox subdeacon was recently sentenced to prison on one count of “Child Sexually Abusive Commercial Activity.” We are very grateful that Robert Aaron Mitchell will be kept away from children, at least for a while, and applaud all who contributed to this result.

https://cmspublic.3rdcc.org/CaseDetail.aspx?CaseID=2403849   

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MO--Settlement checks come for abuse victims in time for Xmas

For immediate release: Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2014

For more information: David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP Director (314) 566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com

Checks arrive for abuse victims

Dozens settled with KC diocese

In rare move, they share nearly $10 million almost equally

And they include three whose cases were rejected by court

“It’s completely unprecedented,” says support group head

Dozens of Kansas City men and women who were sexually assaulted as children by priests have received their settlement checks, just in time for Christmas. And it what’s being called “an unprecedented act of generosity,” they are essentially sharing millions equally and including in the settlement three other victims whose cases were tossed out on legal technicalities.   

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VT--Victims blast new VT Catholic bishop

For immediate release: Monday, Dec. 22

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

We are deeply disappointed that Pope Francis has promoted Cardinal Bernard Law’s former mouthpiece. For years, time and time again, then Fr. Christopher Coyne repeated deceptive public relations spin about heinous child sex crimes and callous cover ups by Law and other Catholic officials.

http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/news/2014/12/22/coyne-new-bishop-vermont-roman-catholic-diocese/20751505/    

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IL- No charges for accused priest

For immediate release: Friday, Dec. 19 2014

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, president of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312 399 4747SNAPblaine@gmail.com)

No child sex charges are going to be filed against Fr. Michael W. O’Connell, who is still on the job today in a parish despite allegations by two men that he sexually abused them as children. We’re disappointed in this decision and urge Archbishop Blase Cupich to honor his pledges to keep kids safe by suspending O’Connell.

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WI--Archdiocesan lawyers' $5 million Christmas gift

For immediate release Thursday, December 18 2014

Statement by Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director 414.429.7259

It’s the season for giving and no one has found a way, as the saying goes, to make sure “to give back to yourself first” than the lawyers of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee who filed today a proposed $10 million settlement with insurers (one of them aptly named “Stonewall”) in the longest and most victim bashing bankruptcy in church history.  Of the $10 million, lawyers made sure half of that amount will go to themselves, with total legal and court fees now topping over $18 million and no end in sight.  I suppose we can safely conclude that after almost four years where justice for victims has not been pursued much in court, we can always have confidence the billable hours will be.    

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KY--Predator priest will stay locked up

For immediate release: Thursday, Dec. 18

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)

We are grateful that a Louisville predator priest won’t get shock probation. Keeping him behind bars is the best way to protect kids.

http://www.wdrb.com/story/27663885/judge-denies-shock-probation-for-priest-sentenced-to-15-years-for-molesting-teen   

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OH--Cincy Catholic group challenged in court over child sex abuse

For immediate release: Thursday, Dec. 18

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

Seven clerics with a Cincinnati-based Catholic group are accused of sexually abusing children in New Mexico, according to new court documents and the Gallup Independent newspaper. (Full article is below.) We call on the head of the group, Fr. Page Polk (pagepolk@franciscan.org, frankjasper@franciscan.org), to fully disclose their long-secret records about clergy sex crimes and cover ups.   

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Rome--"Punishment, not advice, will stop church cover-ups"

For immediate release: Wednesday, Dec. 17

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

There’s never been a shortage of good people willing to advise Catholic officials on abuse. There’s been – and remains – a shortage of Catholic officials who practice celibacy and are thus able to defrock clerics who hide crimes, help predators and hurt kids. So whether yet another church abuse panel adds yet more members won’t change this.

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2014/12/17/pope_names_new_members_of_child_protection_commission/1115094   

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