PA--Victims: “Chaput must honor Francis’ new commitments”

PA--Victims: “Chaput must honor Francis’ new commitments”

Pope’s promise to “end secrecy” means Chaput must act, group says
SNAP: Pontiff’s ‘accountability’ pledge means “enablers” must be punished
Self-help organization wants three recent local abuse cases to be “re-examined”
What:
Holding signs and childhood photos, after Pope Francis has ended his historic US visit, clergy sex abuse victims will urge Philly area Catholics and their church officials to honor and act on the promises he made. Specifically, the victims will urge Archbishop Charles Chaput to
-- discipline even a few priests who hid or ignored child sex crimes, and
-- disclose more about and “re-visit” three recent clergy sex abuse cases.
When:
Monday, Sept. 28 at 1:30 p.m.
Where:
Outside the Philadelphia Catholic archdiocesan headquarters, 222 North 17th Street (corner of Race) in Philadelphia, PA
Who:
Three-four members of an international support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a Missouri woman who is the organization’s long time outreach director
Why: 
On Sunday, Pope Francis made strong promises, including that “abuse cannot be kept secret any longer,” “all responsible will be held accountable," and that church officials will provide "careful oversight to ensure that youth are protected.” 
In light of these pledges and others, SNAP is challenging Philly church officials and members to “take tangible steps” to act on these “noble sentiments”. 
Regarding secrecy, the group wants Archbishop Charles Chaput to “disclose more about those who concealed – not just those who committed – clergy sex crimes.”
Regarding accountability, the group wants Chaput to “punish priests who protected Philly’s 136 publicly accused predator priests.”
“With almost 140 child molesting clerics, and three detailed grand jury reports, Chaput knows which church staff have hidden or ignored clergy sex crimes, but he won’t punish them,” said SNAP’s Karen Polesir of Ambler.
“He’s breaking the pope’s repeated accountability promises. So Chaput should publicly demote at least one church staffer now.”
SNAP also wants Chaput to revisit and reveal more about three recent “troubling” local abuse cases.
--A year ago, with little explanation, Chaput put Msgr. Joseph Logrip back on the job in a parish. Catholic officials admit he faced allegations of sexually violating “minors.” (Notice the plural.) He is also accused, according to the Philly Inquirer, of knowing of an “attack” on a child by a priest but doing “nothing.”
http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2011/03_04/2011_03_10_OReilly_Namesof.pdf (Regarding the abuse charges, Chaput only says they are “unsubstantiated.”)
--Last year, Chaput also kept secret for months about child sex abuse reports involving Fr. John P. Paul. Fr. Paul resigned claiming he was “considering a serious road trip for 'renewal' purposes.” Chaput let this lie go unchallenged. When Chaput finally did announce that abuse complaints led to Fr. Paul’s suspension, he notified only one parish. (Eventually, Philly church officials told the public and the rest of their flock.)
--In 2012, Chaput “recklessly” put Fr. Joseph DiGregorio back on the job even though the priest “violated behavioral standards.” Chaput justified his decision by claiming that a “clinical evaluation” supposedly says the priest is no threat to children and because “no other complaints were reported.” The church’s 2002 national abuse policy, however, says nothing about a priest being kept in a parish if a therapist says he’s no threat. (Before 2002, dozens of bishops used this same rationale when, with disastrous results, they put hundreds of accused predators back around kids.)
Given Francis’ professed commitment to end secrecy and “always be vigilant to protect children,” SNAP wants Chaput and his abuse review board to “look again at these cases, be more forthcoming and err on the side of caution.
“At best, Chaput does the absolute bare minimum required of him under the church’s vague, weak, decade-old abuse policy. Surely, he’ll do more in light of Francis’ latest promises,” said David Clohessy, director of SNAP. “At worst, Chaput violates that policy by putting accused predators back on the job, by letting suspended predators live unsupervised, and by being secretive in ways that continue to put kids at risk. That too, we’d expect to change, given the pontiff’s clear pledges.”
Contact:
Barbara Dorris (314 503 0003, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), David Clohessy (314 566 9790davidgclohessy@gmail.com), Becky Ianni (703 801 6044,SNAPvirginia@cox.net

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