Media Statements

Vatican--SNAP blasts “another few distracting papal words on abuse”

For immediate release: Sunday, May 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)

In a purportedly “forceful” tone, Pope Francis said child molesters must be “severely punished” but “did not specifically mention the church or its response to abuse.”

So what? When will a few papal sentences about how bad abuse is stop being news?

Just this week, a convicted priest who assaulted a California teenager was promoted to head an Oklahoma parish with a parochial school, until parishioners protects and their archbishop backed down.

http://www.snapnetwork.org/ok_archbishop_says_he_ll_remove_convicted_priest_victims_respond

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USA--Catholic church loses $90 million a year from theft?

For immediate release: Sunday, May 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)

A new Associated Press story cites “lax financial controls” in the Catholic church, quotes one source as saying that the US church may lose $90 million annually from theft and cites an independent survey that shows that 85% of US dioceses have experienced recent embezzlement.

http://www.cruxnow.com/ap/2016/05/01/bookkeeper-denies-theft-as-u-s-church-struggles-with-money-controls/

“American Catholics drop roughly $150 million into the Sunday collection plate every week,” the AP reports.

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UT--Predator priest who worked in Utah is sentenced again

For immediate release: Sunday, May 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)

On Friday, an already imprisoned serial predator priest who allegedly abused Utah boys was sentenced to 40 more years for hurting other kids in Michigan.

For the safety of kids and the healing of victims, we hope he stays behind bars for as long as possible. And we hope that Utah Catholic officials will spread this news and use church bulletins, pulpit announcements, and church websites to aggressively seek out others who he may have hurt. We believe that’s their moral and civic duty.

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news3/2002_06_04_Ross_RecordsShow_James_Rapp_5.htm

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news/2002_12_01_Sallah_ShameSin.htm

http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2016/04/29/pirest-james-rapp-sexual-abuse/83726260/

http://www.wilx.com/home/headlines/Former--Teacher--Priest-at-Lumen-Christi-Catholic-High-School-in-Jackson-sentenced-today-377559141.html?ref=141

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MO--Member of Toledo-based church group is sentenced

For immediate release: Saturday, April 30, 2016, 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)

Yesterday, a serial predator priest - who for years belonged to a Toledo-based Catholic group – was sentenced to 40 years for crimes in Michigan. For the safety of kids and the healing of victims, we hope he stays behind bars for as long as possible.

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news/2002_12_01_Sallah_ShameSin.htm

http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2016/04/29/pirest-james-rapp-sexual-abuse/83726260/

http://www.wilx.com/home/headlines/Former--Teacher--Priest-at-Lumen-Christi-Catholic-High-School-in-Jackson-sentenced-today-377559141.html?ref=141

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MI--Predator priest/wrestling coach sentenced today; Victims respond

For immediate release: Friday, April 29,2016
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
Today, a serial predator priest who is in prison in Oklahoma will be sentenced for more crimes in Michigan. For the safety of kids and the healing of victims, we hope he gets the most stern sentence possible. 
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IL-- "End the statute of limitations on child sex crimes"

Statement by Barbara Blaine of SNAP (312 399 4747), April 28, 2016

If one in four homes were burglarized in Illinois, lawmakers would be jumping into action.

If one in eight cars were stolen in IL, lawmakers would be climbing over one another to propose solutions.

But one in four girls and one in eight boys are sexually violated as children in Illinois. So where’s the legislative uproar?

And most child molesters, unlike Denny Hastert, never get caught. The relatively few who are caught, like Denny Hastert, hurt several or many kids and perpetrate for years undetected, in part because it takes them so long to be able to tell. Telling is not simple. It usually takes years before victims realize what happened to them as children was criminal and abusive, and that it still cripples them years later. Then it takes strength and courage to come forward. When they do, they are usually told, “You’re too late.” Those who committed the crimes go scot-free. Those who concealed the crimes go scot-free. And those who suffered the crimes keep suffering.

We applaud Attorney General Lisa Madigan for speaking out for statute of limitations reform. 

 

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IL--Statement by victim of Chicago's Fr. Wellems

Statement Eric Johnson of Colorado, repeatedly sexually abused as a child by Fr. Bruce Wellems

Although Wellems has publicly admitted to sexually abusing me as 7 year old boy when he was 15, he remains active as a suspended priest, and as an influence with At-Risk Youth. Although his faculties in the Archdiocese have been temporarily suspended; as a Claretian, he is allowed to appear as a leader and have contact with kids. 

By the time I found the courage to tell my Mother about Wellem's sexual abuse, I was well past the Stature of Limitations. Guilt, Confusion, Depression and Shame eat at you to a point so low that you have a choice; Continue to be self destructive and die, or share your story.

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OK--Wrestling Hall of Fame weighs Hastert honor

For immediate release: Thursday, April 28, 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 glad officials at the Wrestling Hall of Fame are considering removing Hastert’s name and honors. But they should have done so long ago.

http://www.latimes.com/sports/sportsnow/la-sp-sn-dennis-hastert-wrestling-hall-of-fame-20160428-story.html

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IL--Judge for protects Hastert victim’s privacy; Victims respond

For immediate release: Thursday, April 28, 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)

We applaud an Illinois judge who is protecting the privacy of a victim of Denny Hastert. If kids are to be protected from predators, we must make it easier and safer for victims to come forward at any time under any circumstances.

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/dennis-hastert-lawsuit-accuser-can-stay-anonymous-now-n564206

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PA--Judge: Trial vs. Catholic officials will go forward; Victims respond

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 27, 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 the trial of three Pennsylvania Catholic officials who repeatedly ignored and hid child sex abuse reports against a cleric will go forward.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/latest-lawyers-argue-judge-friars-case-38711199

http://www.pennlive.com/news/2016/04/principal_franciscans_didnt_me.html

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Washington D.C.--SNAP urges Congress to censure Hastert & reform SOL

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 27, 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 urge Rep. Paul Ryan and the House of Representatives to censure Dennis Hastert. Inaction makes it harder for victims to report crimes. But strong action – and sometimes strong statements – can make it easier for victims to step up, expose wrongdoers and protect kids.

http://gawker.com/when-will-the-house-censure-dennis-hastert-the-child-p-1773398760

We also hope that Congress will act on Senator Chuck Schumer’s new proposal to reform the federal statute of limitations on child sex crimes.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/sen-schumer-pushes-extend-statute-sex-crimes-victims-article-1.2609238

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IL--Victims applaud jail time for Hastert

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 27

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

We’re grateful that Dennis Hastert will be jailed. Jailing child molesters, even elderly ones, is the best way to protect kids. Jailing him might also deter others from hiding child sex crimes.

In our view, jail time is more about prevention than punishment. It will also help encourage others who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes to protect kids by calling police, exposing wrongdoers and seeking justice.   

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