Media Statements

Nation--Open letter to survivors about the film Spotlight

In the weeks ahead, a highly acclaimed film called Spotlight will be shown across the US. It mentions SNAP and features an actor who plays New England SNAP founder/leader Phil Saviano and shows that SNAP played a big role in helping journalists investigate and expose clergy sex crimes and cover ups in Boston (eventually exposing 249 predator priests in just one archdiocese and writing some 600 articles on the subject in one year.)   

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NY--Victims skeptical of agreement between bishop & prosecutors

For immediate release: Thursday, October 29

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

We’re highly skeptical of the agreement between Syracuse Bishop Robert Cunningham and several local prosecutors. It was negotiated during months of secrecy which, in itself, is troubling.    

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MA--Cardinal should promote “Spotlight” film

For immediate release: Thursday, October 29, 2015

Statement by Ann Hagan Webb, former director, New England SNAP, (617-513-8442).

Next month, when “Spotlight” opens in theaters, Cardinal Sean O’Malley should order every church staff member to see it. That is the best, quickest and cheapest way he can protect more kids. It’s easy for bishops to claim they have changed, but acting with real openness would prove real change. Boston parents and parishioners can only benefit by learning more about the church’s on going abuse and cover up crisis. O’Malley should be promoting this movie if he truly cares about the safety of children.

For more on O’Malley’s troubling track record on abuse click here. www.snapnetwork.org/rome_question_o_malley_record   or   http://www.snapnetwork.org/ny_cardinal_o_malley_calls_for_compliance_not_enforcement

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AZ--Victims ask Phoenix bishop to help re predator

For immediate release: Tuesday, Oct. 27

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

A Phoenix priest is accused of ignoring reports that a now-admitted child molester made a boy strip naked and whipped him.

Fr. Patrick Crane is with Our Lady of Sorrows in Phoenix. Last month, he was interviewed by a detective because he worked for three years - from 2003 to 2006 – with Kevin Sloniker, who faces recent child sex charges in Washington and Idaho. Crane said he remembers part of the conversation with the boy.

For the safety of kids, we call on Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmstead to suspend Fr. Crane.

And we call on Idaho Bishop Peter F. Christensen and Spokane Bishop Thomas Daly to use church websites, parish bulletins, pulpit announcements and personal appeals to reach out to others who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by Sloniker.

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2015/oct/26/coeur-dalene-man-jailed-on-1-million-bond-suspecte/

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MO--Admitted child molester gets off scot-free

For immediate release: Tuesday, Oct. 27

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

A news outlet reports that a “confessed child rapist Aaron Michael Fisher of Jefferson City, Missouri was able to walk free last week after delaying his trial for years, then suing for dismissal of his case on the grounds that he could not get a speedy trial.”

http://www.rawstory.com/2015/10/man-who-raped-infant-daughter-walks-free-and-all-he-had-to-do-was-run-out-the-clock/

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National--New acclaimed film focuses on clergy abuse crisis

For immediate release: Tuesday, Oct. 27

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 new film about how journalists broke open the widespread Catholic abuse and cover up crisis will hit theatres next month. We urge every US bishop to order all church staff to see it, even if it means arranging special viewings at church facilities.   

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Canada--Convicted Orthodox archbishop defrocked; victims’ group is grateful

For immediate release:  Monday, October 26, 2015

Statement by Melanie Jula Sakoda of Moraga, California, Orthodox Christian Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (melanie.sakoda@gmail.com925-708-6175)

A Canadian archbishop criminally convicted of child sexual abuse has finally been defrocked by his synod. A support group for victims is grateful for this decision, but wants the bishops to do more.

Archbishop Seraphaim Storheim, who was once the highest ranking official in Canada for the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), was removed from the priesthood this past week, according to the Church’s website.

http://oca.org/news/headline-news/holy-synod-renders-decision-concerning-archbishop-seraphim

http://oca.org/PDF/NEWS/2015/2015-1024-canada-pastoral-letter.pdf

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IL--Chicago Archdiocese falsely brags of being better on abuse

For immediate release: Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015

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

In a shrewd public relations move, Chicago Catholic officials are claiming they dealt with clergy sex crimes and cover ups better than their Boston colleagues did years ago. They’re wrong.

http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/7/71/1034423/movie-priest-abuse

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MO--Predator priest who was ousted last year is now sued again

For immediate release: Tuesday, Oct. 20, 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 serial predator priest is being sued for sexually assaulting another child. We commend this brave man for seeking justice and exposing wrongdoers. We hope his courage will prompt others who were hurt as kids by clerics to step forward.

In 2013 - 31 years after child sex abuse allegations against him first emerged - Fr. Leroy A. Valentine was “permanently remove him from active ministry.” Though archdiocesan officials have paid settlements to at least three of his victims, Fr. Valentine has apparently still not been defrocked. And we believe, but are not certain, that no one from the archdiocese has been supervising or monitoring Fr. Valentine for at least the last 12 years.

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IL--Abuse victims react to Hastert plea deal

For immediate release: Thursday, Oct. 15

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

We hope that anyone hurt by Dennis Hastert will feel some consolation in this deal but we suspect that won’t happen.

www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/ex-house-speaker-dennis-hastert-strikes-deal-hush-money-case-n445111   

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FL--Accused abusive priest put back in a parish

For immediate release: Wednesday, Oct. 14

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 Florida bishop is putting a credibly accused abusive cleric back in a parish. We are deeply worried about the safety of the priest’s colleagues, neighbors and flock.

http://www.naplesnews.com/news/local-news/east-naples-priest-leo-riley-returns-to-st-peter-the-apostle-after-abuse-investigation_28772112   

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Rome--Another vague papal apology for sex scandals

For immediate release: Wednesday, Oct. 14

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP outreach director (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)

Instead of stopping clergy sex scandals, Pope Francis is again asking forgiveness for them. That may be good public relations but it’s irresponsible leadership.

History, psychology and common sense show that you prevent sexual violence by harshly punishing those who enable sexual violence by ignoring or hiding it. It’s that simple.    

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