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SNAP
Press Release


 

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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release
Giving Voice to Victims

 

For Immediate Release:
November 12. 2007

For More Information:
Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP President 312 399 4747 9606
Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP Outreach Director 314 862 7688
David Clohessy of St. Louis SNAP National Director 314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915

Clergy sex abuse victims blast Catholic officials

Bishops complicit in child molestation scandal get promoted

Group is upset that Chicago’s Cardinal will likely head church group

Vatican also elevates clergy who have protected predators & deceived parishioners

WHAT
At a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will call on
-- America's bishops to stop promoting colleagues who have covered up child sex crimes, and
-- Vatican officials to do likewise

Specifically, the group opposes:
-- Chicago's Cardinal Francis George, who is poised this week to become the new president of the US bishops’ conference, and
-- Stockton's Bishop Stephen Blaire, who may become the new head of the bishops’ sex abuse committee

The group feels that such moves reward reckless misbehavior, deter victims from coming forward, and rubs salt into the already deep and still fresh wounds of victims and Catholics who are still traumatized from the abuse and cover up scandal.

WHEN: Monday, Nov 12, 11:30 a.m.

WHERE: Outside the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel, 700 Aliceanna Street, Baltimore, where hundred of America’s Catholic bishops are meeting this week

WHO: Several clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters, including a Chicago woman who founded a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

WHY: The group is especially upset that George is likely to win the highest post in the Bishops’ Conference. George ignored repeated warnings, and his own review board’s recommendation, and kept a predator in ministry for years, until he was arrested. He also secretly hired and lived with a convicted predator six months after America’s bishops pledged to be open and reform their handling of clergy sex cases.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-op-berry11nov11,0,5775259.story?coll=la-opinion-center

SNAP also opposes Stockton’s Blaire, in part because he spearheaded one of the first of several efforts by California bishops to overturn the state’s reform of child sex abuse laws that led to hundreds of predators being exposed and removed.

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2003_07_12/2003_10_18_Guccione_ChallengeTo.htm

For the bishops conference presidency, SNAP backs Duluth MN Bishop Dennis Schnurr and for the sex abuse committee chairmanship, it backs Rapid City SD Bishop Blaise Cupich. SNAP admits it knows little about Schnurr and Cupich but endorses their candidacies simply because their competitors have very poor track records on abuse cases.

Others in the running for the USCCB presidency include: Bishop Gregory Aymond (Austin), Archbishop Timothy Dolan (Milwaukee), Bishop Gerald Kicanas (Tucson), Archbishop Joseph Kurtz (Louisville), Bishop William Lori (Bridgeport), Cardinal Justin Rigali (Philadelphia), Bishop Donald Trautman (Erie) and Bishop Allen Vigneron of (Oakland). (Just yesterday, Vigneron came under fire for promoting a priest to pastor who is an admitted sex offender.)

Pope Benedict, SNAP says, has similarly chosen bishops and cardinals who ‘severely mishandled’ abuse cases, including Archbishop William Levada of San Francisco (now a Cardinal in a high level Vatican post), Bishop Nicholas DiNardo of Galveston-Houston (recently made a cardinal), Bishop Jaime Soto (from Orange County, named Sacramento’s bishop), and Bishop Walter Hurley of Detroit (now Grand Rapids bishop).

CONTACT
Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP President 312 399 4747 9606
Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP Outreach Director 314 862 7688
David Clohessy of St. Louis SNAP National Director 314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915


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


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