Media Statements

IL--Admitted predator priest is still on the job; Victims respond

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, president of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312 399 4747bblaine@SNAPnetwork.org)

Chicago Archbishop Cupich and LA Archbishop Gomez can’t be trusted to keep their promises.

In a long and troubling new article, the Chicago Tribune asks “Should Chicago priest return to ministry after revelations of teen misconduct?”

To be concise, the answer is no.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-chicago-priest-past-abuse-met-20160102-story.html#

Fr. Bruce Wellems admits repeatedly sexually abusing a seven-year-old boy. At the time, Wellems was an older teenager. When confronted with these facts in Los Angeles, Fr. Wellems attacked the messenger, saying reports of his abusive acts had “no factual basis.”

http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/social-affairs/20140910/san-gabriel-priests-past-misconduct-detailed-in-letters-called-smoking-gun

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IL-A second disgraced Illinois Catholic bishop passed away

For immediate release: Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016

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

A second disgraced bishop from Joliet has passed away. We hope Catholic officials will show compassion to abuse victims and betrayed Catholics by avoiding a funeral service with full honors. Restraint would be appropriate unless the church hierarchy wants to deepen already deep wounds.

http://www.sj-r.com/news/20160101/former-springfield-bishop-ryan-dies-at-85-

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MO--Second-ever clergy "contract breach" suit is precedent-setting and encouraging, SNAP says

For immediate release: Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)

A woman who was sexually abused by a Jesuit who became the president of St. Louis University has become the second victim to settle a “breach of contract” case against Catholic officials. We applaud her for her courage, her persistence and her concern for others who may be hurt or betrayed by Jesuits.

These highly unusual abuse and breach of contract lawsuits are very encouraging. We hope and believe other victims will start using this tactic.

--In this just-settled case, a New York woman was sexually violated by Fr. Daniel O’Connell (then a professor, later the president of SLU), who is believed to still be living in St. Louis. According to the New York Times, Fr. O’Connell “was accused of sexually assaulting a 20-year-old college student in 1983.”  In 2003, his Jesuit supervisors “found the accusation credible,” paid her $181,000 settlement and agreed to remove O'Connell “from a teaching post at another Jesuit institution” and bar him “from public ministry” or any activity in which he could develop a relationship with a woman.  

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/30/nyregion/30jesuit.html?_r=2&

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PA--Victims group applauds charges vs. Cosby

For immediate release: Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2015

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP president (312-399-4747bblaine@snapnetwork.org)

Finally, Bill Cosby faces criminal charges. This should have happened ages ago. But we’re grateful it’s happening now. And it should prod more victims and more prosecutors to take more action against more rapists.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2015/12/30/bill-cosby-charged-2004-pa-sexual-assault/78069794/

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PA--Two colleges must rescind Bill Cosby honor, victims say

For immediate release: Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015

Statement by Karen Polesir of Ambler, SNAP leader (267-992-9463karenpolesir@yahoo.com)

As the year ends, there’s no better time than now for Temple and Cheyney universities to rescind honors the schools have given to disgraced rapist Bill Cosby. It would help victims of sexual violence heal. And it would help prevent more sexual violence, by making it easier for rape victims to report these heinous crimes.

http://www.delcotimes.com/general-news/20151207/swarthmore-revokes-bill-cosbys-honorary-degree

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IL--Victims deplore “full honors” funeral for complicit bishop

For immediate release: Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015

Statement by Kate Bochte, SNAP leader, Geneva IL 630-768-1860, keight@sbcglobal.net

Today, a deceased Joliet Catholic bishop will apparently be buried with “full honors” while dozens of church officials and hundreds of church members look on and quietly tolerate this hurtful injustice.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/daily-southtown/news/ct-sta-bishop-imesch-wake-st-1229-20151228-story.html

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PA--Victims applaud DA’s decision to appeal priest abuse case

For immediate release: Monday, Dec. 28, 2015

Statement by Karen Polesir of Amber, SNAP Philly director (267-992-9463karenpolesir@yahoo.com)

We’re grateful that Philly prosecutors continue defending the conviction of a high ranking Catholic official who helped conceal clergy sex crimes. We hope Seth Williams prevails in his latest move to hold Msgr. William Lynn responsible for his devious and hurtful cover ups.

http://mobile.philly.com/beta?wss=/philly/news&id=363649181

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IL--Victims ask college to rescind bishop's honor

For immediate release Thursday, December 24, 2015

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

A Joliet college should end its practice of honoring a disgraced, just-deceased Catholic bishop.
http://patch.com/illinois/joliet/university-st-francis-dishonors-priest-abuse-survivors-honoring-bishop-joseph-0

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Vatican--Victims dismiss papal meeting with Mexican survivors

For immediate release, December 24, 2015

Statement by David Clohessy of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

Pope Francis will supposedly meet with clergy sex abuse victims in Mexico in February. We are not impressed. Instead of creating public relations opportunities by meeting with victims, Francis should be taking decisive action to reduce the number of victims.
http://www.ansa.it/english/news/vatican/2015/12/24/pope-to-meet-sex-abuse-victims-in-mexico_823601f9-c193-4f6b-a6f3-d0a9bd3acad2.html

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CT--Accused predator priest put back to work; Victims respond

For immediate release: Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015

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

An accused predator priest has supposedly been “cleared” by his clerical colleagues and will be put back to work, a move that we believe may endanger more innocent kids.

http://www.rep-am.com/news/local/929118.txt

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PA--Convicted predator priest is hiring public relations firm before sentencing

For immediate release: Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015

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

A convicted predator priest is apparently hiring a public relations firm in advance of his sentencing. We hope his bishop prevents him from doing this or that no firm accepts his offer. And we hope the IRS and other authorities investigate whether the cleric is breaking laws or misleading donors to his non-profit.

http://everything-pr.com/child-molesting-priest-seeks-to-hire-a-pr-agency/75923/

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PA--Top Philly Catholic official to get new trial; Victims respond

For immediate release: Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015

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

The nation’s only Catholic supervisor in jail for endangering kids and protecting predators will get a new trial. This ruling rubs salt into already deep and still fresh wounds of Philadelphia Catholic and victims. It also emboldens those who are hiding or are tempted child sex crimes.

http://www.mcall.com/news/nationworld/pennsylvania/mc-pa-philly-priest-conviction-overturned-again-20151222-story.html

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