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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release
Giving Voice to Victims

 

For immediate release:
Sunday, June 8, 2008

For more information:
David Clohessy, SNAP National Director, 314-566-9790, snapclohessy@aol.com
Christa Brown, SNAP Baptist Outreach Director, 512-217-1730, christa@stopbaptistpredators.org
Barbara Dorris, SNAP Outreach Director, 314-862-7688, snapdorris@gmail.com

As national Southern Baptist meeting starts, sex abuse victims are worried

Panel was supposed to conduct study on creating database of predatory preachers

But victims see no evidence of that happening & suspect "public relations instead"

Support group holds hope but little expectation

As thousands of Southern Baptists church officials and members open their annual meeting in Indianapolis tomorrow, clergy sex abuse victims are skeptical that the gathering will produce any reform on the pressing issue of predatory preachers.

At last year's Southern Baptist Convention in San Antonio, a motion to study the creation of a database of child-molesting ministers passed overwhelmingly. Since then, the committee charged with conducting the study has met several times. But it has not been forthcoming with a budget for the study; nor has it held hearings to receive input from victims and experts.

Last week, the Convention published a slick, glossy, 8-page pamphlet on "Protecting our Children."

SNAP members fear that Baptist officials will try to portray that pamphlet as a sign that the denomination is acting with diligence to combat clergy sex abuse. SNAP leaders, however, feel otherwise.

"Action protects kids, not words," said Christa Brown of Austin, SNAP's Baptist Outreach Director.

"We encourage the convention delegates to honor last year's motion," said David Clohessy of St Louis, SNAP's national director, "and to not accept any sort of 'bait & switch' of words for deeds. Kids need and parents deserve to know who the predatory preacher are,."

"Educating people about abuse is fine, but warning people about credibly accused clergy is far better," said Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP's Outreach Director.

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the nation's oldest and largest support network for people who have been sexually abused by clergy. Founded in 1989, it has more than 8000 members and 65 support groups across the country. Its goals are to heal the wounded and protect the vulnerable. See SNAPnetwork.org and StopBaptistPredators.org.


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