Media Statements

PA--Altoona bishop makes promises; Victims respond

For immediate release: Thursday, March 3, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

No one with a bit of sense should believe Altoona bishop when he, once again, pledges reform about child sex crimes and cover ups.

http://www.wpxi.com/ap/ap/pennsylvania/clergy-abuse-hotline-getting-scores-of-calls-after/nqcgM/

For centuries, Catholic officials have dealt with abuse reports. In the US, for more than 30 years, these scandals have surfaced publicly. The first Altoona priest was sued in the mid-1980s. Bishop Mark Bartchak and his predecessors have had years to “reform.” But they haven’t and they won’t.

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ME-- Victims blast bishop's "healing mass”

For immediate release: Thursday, March 3, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790314 645 5915 home,davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

Maine Catholic officials have scheduled a “healing mass” for abuse victims. At worst, this is a cynical public relations move. At best, it misses the mark. (See details below.)

http://www.portlanddiocese.org/content/bishop-deeley-announces-cathedral-mass-day-prayer-and-penance-march-4 

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PA--Hotline gets many calls re Altoona abuse; Victims respond

For immediate release: Thursday, March 3, 2016

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

We are thrilled that a hotline for reporting abuse and cover ups by Altoona clerics is flooded with calls. We hope this will continue because each call potentially leads to more wrongdoers being exposed or punished and more kids being protected.

http://www.pennlive.com/news/2016/03/tips_leads_flooding_into_altoo.html#incart_article_small

We firmly believe that across Pennsylvania, hundreds of men, women and teens who’ve been assaulted by Catholic clerics continue to suffer in silence, shame, hopelessness and self-blame. So every call represents a troubled person heading towards help and potentially exposing more priests, nuns, bishops, seminarians and other church staff who have committed or concealed heinous crimes.

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MI--Victims blast Saginaw bishop over “missing” priest

For immediate release: Thursday, March 3, 2016

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

Saginaw Catholic officials are keeping secret the whereabouts of a priest who’s been deemed guilty of sexual harassment and is accused of sexual exploitation. Because of this secrecy, Bishop Joseph R. Cistone is breaking his promises and the US church abuse policy. 

NOTE – One newspaper is blasting Cistone on its editorial page:

http://www.cm-life.com/article/2016/02/priest-follow-up

When he became the head of the Saginaw diocese, Bishop Cistone told the Midland Daily News he would not approve the transfer of any priest, accused or known to have committed sexual abuse, to anywhere within the diocese. 

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2016/01_02/2016_02_24_Smith_NationalExpert.htm

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VA--Support group hears from others hurt by university official

PRESS STATEMENT   March 3, 2016, For immediate release

Statement by Barbra Graber, Leader, Anabaptist-Mennonite Chapter of *SNAP, 540-214-8874, mennonite@SNAPnetwork.org

After a Mennonite university official was accused of soliciting prostitution, our group urged anyone who might have seen, suspected or suffered any misdeeds by him to come forward. We have since heard from others who he hurt.

He is Luke Hartman, a former Vice President at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, VA. In January, he was arrested and he resigned his post. Days later, the Anabaptist-Mennonite Chapter of SNAP responded with a public statement urging anyone with more information to speak up.

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PA--Predator priest sentenced; Victims respond

For immediate release: Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790314 645 5915 home,davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

We’re grateful that a central Pennsylvania predator priest will spend 16 years behind bars. We hope now that law enforcement agencies will pursue his church colleagues and supervisors who ignored or hid his crimes.

http://wjactv.com/news/local/former-priest-sentenced-to-16-years-in-prison-for-sexual-abusing-boys

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OR--Victims blast Portland archbishop over Spotlight remarks

For immediate release: Wednesday, March 2, 2016

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

Shame on Portland’s Catholic archbishop for engaging in self-promotion instead of abuse prevention by posturing about the award-winning film “Spotlight.”

http://katu.com/news/local/pdx-archbishop-responds-to-spotlight-movie-popularity

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WA--Victims urge Seattle archbishop to act in new sex case

For immediate release: Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Statement by Mary Dispenza of Seattle, Seattle SNAP director (425 941 6001mdispenza@icloud.com  

A counselor at a Catholic agency has been arrested for allegedly abusing a teenager in the Seattle archdiocese.

http://komonews.com/news/local/sheriff-drug-counselor-suspected-of-sexual-relationship-with-teen-boy

Until recently Jamie Wright of Marysville worked for the Catholic Community Services Northwest Recovery Center in Burlington. This week, police caught her in a car with a boy. Though one news account said the two have been “in a relationship for months” we stress that this is alleged child sexual abuse.

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PA--SNAP: “Other PA bishops must act now”

For immediate release: Wednesday, March 2, 2016

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

For the safety of kids and the healing of victims, we call on all Pennsylvania bishops to quickly and thoroughly share the names of Altoona predator priests cited in the new grand jury report.

No priest stays in his home diocese forever. Virtually all priests cross diocesan boundaries often and help at churches where their clerical colleagues are sick or on vacation, when seminarians are ordained, when a bishop is installed and for dozens of other reasons.

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PA--Victims on Altoona: “Probe is on-going, so act!”

For immediate release: Tuesday, March 1, 2016 

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

The Altoona abuse and cover up investigation is on-going. It’s key to remember that. Just because there are no criminal charges now doesn’t mean there won’t be any later. 

We believe it’s the moral and civic duty of every Altoona area Catholic to actively seek out others who saw or suspected or suffered crimes by these 50 predator priests. We believe Altoona area church staff have the same duty. But we know that virtually none of them will take action, because they’re too timid, whether they’re a bookkeeper or a bishop. And since they won’t, it’s crucial that rank-and-file church members do this outreach.

We beg Catholics and citizens to read carefully the parts of the report that deal with how Catholic officials deal with abuse reports now. It’s worth reading this piece from PennLive.com

The bishop controlled the Allegation Review Board.

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NJ--Victims urge bishop to announced predator’s death

For immediate release: Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

 New Jersey predator priest has passed away.  We hope his death of brings some comfort to the courageous victims who came forward and reported his horrific crimes.

http://www.nj.com/hunterdon/index.ssf/2016/03/ex-priest_in_prison_for_sexually_assaulting_alter.html

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MA--Victims blast Boston Cardinal over “posturing”

For immediate release: Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Statement by Ann Webb, former co-director of Boston SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (annhaganwebb@gmail.com)
It’s so tiresome watching Cardinal Sean O’Malley posture about clergy sex crime and cover ups. The latest example: his comments today about Spotlight. By shrewdly using words like “historical” and “forgiveness,” he perpetuates the comforting but irresponsible myth that most of this is “in the past,” when he knows that’s just not true. 
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