PA--Victims to leaflet Catholic church
Victims to leaflet at Catholic church
They challenge pope to demote bishops
SNAP: “Church officials refuse to do aggressive outreach”
So group asks parishioners to “search for wounded survivors”
“Pope talks about families while abuse crisis devastates them,” SNAP says
On the cusp of Pope Francis’ first-ever visit to the US, as parishioners leave mass, abuse victims will hand out fliers to church goers. The leaflets urge Pennsylvania Catholic officials to
--disclose the names, photos and whereabouts of all proven, admitted or credibly accused predator priests and
--aggressively seek out and help their victims
The fliers also urge Catholic church members to
--question loved ones about these child molesting clerics (“Did any of these clerics ever hurt you?”) and
--beg relatives of victims to come forward get help, call the police, expose predators and protect kids
--prod anyone who has “seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes of cover ups to call law enforcement.”
Sunday, Sept. 20 at 11:30 am
On the sidewalk outside the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul, 18th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia
Five-six adults who were abused as kids by clerics (and their supporters) who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)
While Catholic officials pretend that the continuing clergy sex abuse and cover up crisis is waning, thousands of proven, admitted and credibly accused predator priests are living among unsuspecting neighbors with little or no supervision. (Several hundred are on sex offender registries but most are not. And most have not been defrocked.)
Some, in fact, are still in church jobs:
For the safety of parishioners and the public, SNAP wants Pope Francis to “defrock, demote or discipline” bishops who continue to “protect predators and endanger kids,” especially by “keeping names of child molesting clerics secret and letting them live unsupervised and move elsewhere among unsuspecting families.”
For more than 25 years, SNAP has repeatedly urged bishops to “aggressively seek out and help” the thousands of victims “still trapped in silence, shame and self-blame.” But bishops refuse to do anything but the most minimal moves, the group contends.
So now, SNAP is prodding rank-and-file Catholics to take this step. Specifically, the organization is asking parishioners to circulate lists of publicly accused predator priests in their dioceses and ask loved ones if any of them were hurt by any of the priests.
The Pope’s visit to Philadelphia has been prompted by a conference on family life. SNAP contends that church officials rebuff and attack not only victims of clergy sex crimes but their families as well. The long term effects of clergy sex crimes are often as damaging to parents and siblings as to the victims themselves.
In St. Louis, just a few weeks ago, a twice-arrested predator priest sued a 12 year old child’s parents (and SNAP members) alleging slander.
SNAP will be Representing Clergy Abuse Survivors in Rome!
We are taking the fight to Rome and are standing up for all survivors on a world stage! From February 19-25, Board President Tim Lennon, Seattle Leader Mary Dispenza, Los Angeles Leader Esther Hatfield Miller and Austin Leader Carol Midboe will be traveling to Rome for Pope Francis' Papal Abuse Summit.
If you are a member of the media and looking to get in touch with these survivors while in Rome, click here for our media advisory and contact information. If you are interested in connecting with a survivor in the US from your area of coverage, please contact one of the SNAP leaders in the US listed below:
- East Coast/DC: Becky Ianni (SNAPvirginia@cox.net, 703-801-6044)
- Midwest/Chicago: Zach Hiner (firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-974-9009)
- Midwest/St. Louis: David Clohessy (email@example.com, 314314-566-9790)
- West Coast / San Francisco: Melanie Sakoda (firstname.lastname@example.org, 925-708-6175)
If you are looking to help spread the word about the importance of this summit and for survivors to be heard, add your voice to the conversation on social media using the hashtag #PBC2019. Be sure to follow SNAP on twitter and Facebook and share our posts, add your comments, and let the world know that we are watching!Learn More