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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release
Giving Voice to Victims

 

Letter to Bishops

 

For immediate release:
Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2005

Sex Abuse Victims Want Bishops’ National Policy Strengthened

For First Time, Support Group Weighs in on USCCB Charter

SNAP Wants Names of Molesters Made Public by Church Officials

Bishops Should Visit Each Parish Where Pedophile Priests Worked, They Say

The nation’s largest support group for clergy molestation victims is urging America’s Catholic bishops to strengthen their sex abuse guidelines.

The deadline for suggested changes to the policy was Saturday. It will be revised this summer.

Leaders of the Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, want each bishop to:

- permanently post on his diocesan web site the names of known or suspected abusive priests, and

- visit each parish where a known or suspected abusive priest worked and publicly, emphatically, repeatedly beg victims or witnesses to contact the police.

“These two common sense steps would dramatically improve a very weak, vague and sporadically enforced policy,” says SNAP president Barbara Blaine of Chicago.

The guidelines were drawn up in June of 2002 at the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ meeting in Dallas.

“Without the names of the dangerous men, every other ‘pseudo-reform’ seems like so much public relations,” said Mary Grant of Long Beach, California.

“Bishops seem obsessed with policies, procedures, and paperwork,” said David Clohessy of SNAP. “But the real information that can help safeguard children – the names of child molesters – is still being kept secret.”

None of America’s 300 bishops, SNAP says, is proposing any strengthening of the guidelines.

SNAP’s letter to the bishops, sent over the weekend by fax and e mail.

For more information:
David Clohessy of St. Louis SNAP National Director 314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915
Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP President 312 399 4747
Mary Grant of Long Beach CA, SNAP Western Regional Director 626 419 2930
Mark Serrano of Virginia, SNAP National Board Member 703 771 9606
Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP Outreach Director 314 862 7688

 



Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
www.snapnetwork.org