The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: November 14, 2002
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Abuse Victims Praise Two Outspoken Bishops
"Unprecedented & Brave " Public Comments Bode Well, Group Says
A national support group for men and women sexually abused by clerics praised two Catholic bishops for speaking up this week on the issue.
SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (survivorsnetwork.org), praised Dallas Bishop Joseph Gallante and Omaha Archbishop Elden Curtiss for "publicly siding with those who are hurting and vulnerable."
In an interview with a Texdas newspaper, Gallante expressed frustration with Bishop Charles Grahmann for failing to remove a pastor accused of sexual misconduct with an adult man in 1991. The accusation surfaced in May of this year. (see Dallas Morning News (11/11/02, http://www.dallasnews.com/religion/stories/111102dnproalvarez.c4c7b.html)
Gallante also said he has yet to receive a full briefing about the case and has spent weeks prodding Grahmann to act.
Curtiss, on the floor of the annual bishops conference meeting in Washington DC, recommended that the body "censure bishops who had transferred priests accused of sexual abuse of miniors from parish to parish." His amendment failed, but encouraged SNAP members nevertheless. (see New York Times, 11/1/4/02)
His remarks came during a discussion on Wednesday of "episcopal
The topic is being addressed by an ad hoc committee of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops headed by San Diego Bishop Robert Brom. In their meeting last June in Dallas, bishops acknowledged that no penalties exist for their colleagues who transfer abusers or concealed their crimes. They pledged to consider such reforms this fall.
"We are very gratified by the courage of these two church
leaders," said SNAP
On Tuesday, SNAP cited some bishops who "have begun to break
ranks with their
- Bishop Frank Rodimer of Paterson NJ, who held the first open listening session with survivors.
- Archbishop Timothy Dolan of Milwaukee, who held two "listening sessions," for abuse victims, their families and parishioners, which were planned with SNAP members and community leaders, including the district attorney.
- Cardinal William Keeler of Baltimore, who has listed abusive priests on his diocesan web site.
- Bishop Mulvee of Providence, and his staff, who listened to several dozen survivors one-on-one, face-to-face during settlement talks.
- Bishop Gregory of Belleville, who provided one of the most detailed accounting of costs associated with the sexual abuse scandal in his diocese.
- Cardinal Francis George of Chicago and Archbishop Justin Rigali of St. Louis, who have expressed a willingness to help us lobby for extensions to the statutes of limitations.
- Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, who disciplined two priests
who hid the
SNAP is an independent, nationwide, Chicago-based, 12 year old,
Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests