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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release
Giving Voice to Victims


Media advisory for:
June 15, 2006

Sex Abuse Victims Want Two Ousted From Bishops Conference

Group Targets Chicago's Cardinal and Lincoln’s Bishop

Both, SNAP Believes, Obviously Violate US Church Sex Abuse Policies

Without Consequences, Catholic Officials Will Keep Ignoring Guidelines, They Say

A Top Cardinal Kept A Credibly Accused Molester In Ministry Until January

And A Bishop “Thumbs His Nose” At Colleagues and Catholic Lay Panel

WHAT

Holding six panels, 6’ by 8’ of a new, colorful, hand-made “Survivors Quilt” honoring kids molested by clergy, and standing behind yellow “Crime Scene” tape, sex abuse victims will publicly prod America’s Catholic bishops to publicly speak out against and oust from their national organization two fellow bishops who have egregiously and repeatedly violated the church’s national sex abuse policies:

-- Chicago’s Cardinal Frances George, who kept a priest in active parish ministry for six years, until this January, despite repeated credible sex abuse allegations against him, causing at least five boys to be molested, and

--Lincoln’s Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, who proudly and openly thumbs his nose at his peers and at a prominent Catholic lay panel by refusing abide by the bishops’ national abuse charter.

Some survivors will wear “crime scene” tape in the formof a sash across their chests to symbolize the crimes of sexual abuse by priests and complicity in the crimes by church leaders.

WHEN

TODAY, Thursday, June 15, 2:00 p.m.

WHO

Approximately two dozen clergy abuse victims and supporters who belong to a national support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

WHERE

Outside the Biltmore Hotel, 506 S. Grand (Olive & 5th street entrance) in downtown Los Angeles

WHY

In 2002, the US Bishops Conference pledged to “fraternally correct” their colleagues who break the pledges they collectively made regarding sex abuse. However, such “correction” has yet to happen.

George has endured considerable controversy recently because of his disingenuous and dangerous mishandling of the Fr. Daniel McCormack case. Because George ignored several reports of abuse by McCormack for years (including verbal and written ones from a nun), at least five young boys have been molested by the priest, one on an “almost daily basis,” according to prosecutors.

Bruskewitz, who has always been controversial, is the only prelate in the US to blatantly disregard virtually every component of the Dallas Charter of 2002, the ‘reforms’ adopted by the entire US Bishops Conference.

SNAP believes that unless those who severely break the policies face some penalties; the policies are mere ‘window dressing’ and the whole effort is simply cynical public relations.

Often, bishops ignore wrong-doing by their colleagues and ‘pass the buck’ to the Vatican, which theoretically supervises the world’s prelates. But US bishops obviously control their own organization and could easily kick George and Bruskewitz out, or forbid them to attend meetings, hold offices, chair committees. And they could (and should) publicly censure and criticize these two.

CONTACT
Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP President and Founder, 312 399 4747 cell
Mary Grant of Long Beach, SNAP Western Regional Director, 626 419 2930 cell
David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP National Director, 314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915 home

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


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