SNAP Calls Out Sioux City Diocese for Incomplete List of Abusers

SNAP Calls Out Sioux City Diocese for Incomplete List of Abusers

More Names are Hidden, They Allege

“All clergy sexual predators should be listed, including nuns” SNAP Says

Local Abuse Survivor Speaks Out About His Experience

WHAT: 

Leaders from the nation’s oldest and largest advocacy group for victims of clergy and institutional sex abuse, SNAP, will call on church officials at the Diocese of Sioux City to update their incomplete list of accused priests to include the names of all publicly accused abusers, including former Bishop Soens, religious order priests and nuns, and any other abusive church staff or volunteer.

WHEN: 

Thursday, May 23 at 11:00 am

WHERE: 

On the sidewalk in front of the Sioux City Cathedral of the Epiphany, located at 1000 Douglas St, Sioux City, IA 51105

WHO: 

One – two members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, including Tim Lennon, SNAP President, and a local survivor who shared his story publicly for the first time this week.

WHY: 

More than 100 dioceses around the country have released lists of abusive clerics, but too often these lists are carefully curated and leave off some names of abusive clergy. SNAP says this is exactly what is happening with the list of accused priests from the Diocese of Sioux City.

SNAP is calling out church officials from the Diocese of Sioux City for refusing to name a former bishop who has been accused of abuse, and secondarily by limiting their release of names by excluding nuns, brothers, deacons, and religious order priests. Further it does not list those abusers who victimized other adults. 

“It’s notable is that church officials from Sioux City chose not to list Bishop Emeritus Soens,” said Tim Lennon, SNAP President. “Soens has been accused of abusing over thirty boys and should absolutely be listed.”

Similarly, despite being actively contacted about abusive nuns who have spent time in the diocese, church officials in Sioux City have chosen not to list these abusers publicly. A victim of sexual abuse by two nuns when she was five years old personally wrote to Bishop R. Walker Nickless to inform him of the abuse she experienced. Despite this, church officials declined to include this information in the diocesan list. Sioux City Diocese spokesperson Fr. Pelzel said that the authority of the Review Board is limited to ‘priestly sexual misconduct,’ but SNAP is pushing back and saying that such a scope is too limited and will lead only to greater secrecy. 

CONTACT: Tim Lennon, SNAP President (tlennon@snapnetwork.org, 415-312-5820) Zach Hiner, Executive Director (zhiner@snapnetwork.org, 517-974-9009)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)


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