The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
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A week before Pope arrives, sex abuse victims still ignored
Months ago, they wrote asking for a chance to meet with pontiff
But nation’s largest support group gets no answer from Vatican officials
Still, they predict pontiff will meet next week with a few "carefully chosen" victims
But "kids need action, not talk," group says. It wants Pope to discipline ‘corrupt bishops’
Self -help organization will release ‘fact sheet’ on Benedict’s poor track record on abuse
While holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will:
- Disclose and discuss a letter they wrote two months ago asking for a meeting with the Pope during his U.S. visit;
- Release a fact sheet outlining Benedict’s poor track record on clergy sex abuse cover ups;
- Outline specific steps they believe he could and should take to prevent future abuse and heal current wounds.
They’ve received no response from the Vatican, yet suspect the Pope WILL meet with a handful of other, less-independent abuse victims, in what they call “an empty public relations gesture.”
1:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 8
Outside the Papal Nuncio's office, 3339 Massachusetts Ave. NW in Washington, D.C.
Several clergy sex abuse victims including leaders of a self-help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (www.SNAPnetwork.org)
In January, SNAP leaders quietly wrote the Pope’s representative in the U.S. seeking to meet with the pontiff next week. They’ll release a copy of their letter to Benedict today. So far, they have received no response from any church official (and don’t expect to).
Nevertheless, based on 20 years of observing church officials and recent news reports, SNAP leaders strongly believe that next week Pope Benedict will:
-- Hold a small, closed-door meeting with a few victims who are still Catholic;
-- Make brief, vague statements expressing remorse and blasting pedophile priests.
Neither of these measures will help protect the vulnerable or heal the wounded. Instead,
SNAP wants the Pope to take firm, clear and immediate steps to:
1) Discipline bishops who continue to be deceptive and reckless;
2) Safeguard the 94% of Catholic children across the globe who are even more at risk of clergy sexual abuse than children in the United States.
Founded in 1989, SNAP is the nation’s largest and oldest self-help group for clergy molestation victims. It has more than 8,000 members in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests