Press Release



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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release
Giving Voice to Victims


For Immediate Release:
Sunday, April 20th

For More Information:
David Clohessy 314 566 9790, Peter Isely 414 429 7259, Joelle Casteix 949 322 7434, Barbara Dorris 314 503 0003

Victims to hand fliers to Catholics blasting ‘backsliding bishops’

Pope admits ‘badly handled’ crisis, but US officials deny & backpedal

Group attacks Vatican’s top American Cardinal & Long Island prelate

The two undercut Pontiff’s message of hope and reconciliation, SNAP says

Their ‘insensitive denials’ only ‘rub salt into wounds’ of victims & Catholics

Self help group also asks parishioners to invite victims to speak in churches

As parishioners leave & enter mass (and pedestrians walk by), clergy sex abuse victims will hand out fliers urging them to

-- follow the Pope’s example and invite victims to speak in their churches, and

-- speak out against two high-ranking church officials whose recent remarks ‘undercut’ the Pope by denying or minimizing US bishops’ wrongdoing in child sex cases

TODAY, Sunday, April 20, from 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 p.m.

On sidewalk outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan

Four-six clergy abuse survivors who are members of a support group called SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (, including


Earlier this week, the Pope met with victims and urged each Catholic to ‘do what you can to foster healing and reconciliation, and to assist those who have been hurt.’ For many victims, speaking before Catholic groups about their experiences is very healing. SNAP hopes more Catholics will be moved by the Pontiff’s remarks this week and will invite victims to give talks at parishes.

Earlier this week, the Pope candidly admitted that the scandal has been “sometimes very badly handled” by US bishops. Yet on Friday, a top Vatican official, Cardinal William Levada, largely blamed the crisis on therapists who allegedly gave bishops bad advice about predator priests. Levada denied that there’s a “broad base of bishops guilty of aiding and abetting pedophiles.”

Considerable evidence suggests otherwise, as do recent survey results that show substantial and growing dissatisfaction by Catholics over the US hierarchy’s cover ups. (A lengthy Dallas Morning News investigation - published on June 12, 2002 - found that 2/3 of all US bishops quietly shuffled predators around, despite proof that they had molested kids.)

Levada is the former archbishop of San Francisco.

And in a Newsday interview yesterday, Rockville Centre Bishop William Murphy made similarly deceptive comments, saying “there may have been some bishops that mishandled” the crisis. Murphy, who was a close and controversial associate of Boston’s severely discredited Cardinal Bernard Law, who resigned over the crisis. Murphy once said he should have been ‘less quick to judge’ lay Catholics who’ve criticized him, but has rarely admitted his reckless and secretive decisions regarding predator priests in Boston or on Long Island.,0,1374071.story

David Clohessy 314 566 9790
Peter Isely 414 429 7259
Joelle Casteix 949 322 7434
Barbara Dorris 314 503 0003

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests