The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
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Sex abuse victims to Catholic parishioners: "Stay vigilant!"
"Don't wait for church officials to protect kids," they beg church members
Victims fear that historic papal meeting yesterday could lead to complacency
SNAP ask parishioners to follow Pope's example & meet with molestation victims
Group wants to speak to church gatherings & give lay people 'real prevention steps'
Holding photos of suicide victims, clergy sex abuse victims will emphatically beg Catholics to
-- avoid assuming church officials will reform,
-- stay vigilant about child sex crimes & cover-ups, and
-- let victims speak at church events (with or without bishops' approval) &
-- hear specific prevention tips to help keep kids from being molested
TODAY, Friday, April 18 at 2:00 p.m.
Outside St. Patrick's Cathedral, 50th & 5th Ave. in Manhattan
Ten clergy sex abuse victims including leaders of a self-help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)
Victims fear that the public attention on clergy sex crimes, and the Pope's unprecedented meeting yesterday, will create a false sense of security among Catholics about the church's child molestation scandal. SNAP is convinced that kids are still being victimized and that the crimes are still being concealed. The only real chance of prodding church officials to reform, SNAP believes, is if lay people remain outraged and demand such reform.
SNAP also wants parishioners to follow the Pope's lead and meet with victims to hear their experiences of betrayal as well as specific tips on preventing future clergy sexual abuse.
As the news conference begins, participants will hold pictures of suicide victims and observe a solemn moment of silence, in remembrance of clergy molestation victims who couldn't cope with the pain and took their own lives.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests