Press Release



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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release
Giving Voice to Victims


For immediate release:
Friday, August 1, 2008

Nun Sex Abuse Victims To Hold 12 Hour Overnight Outdoor Fast & Vigil

They Bring Their Concerns to National Nuns Meeting In Denver

Group Seeks Meeting With Top Catholic Women Church Officials

SNAP Knows Hundreds of Kids Have Been Molested by Sisters

“Help Us Protect the Vulnerable and Heal the Wounded," Group Tells Nuns

Such Victims Are The “Next Wave” In Abuse Scandal, Self Help Organization Predicts

Outside the largest annual meeting of Catholic nuns in the country, victims of sexual abuse by sisters or priests will:

- announce they’re doing a 'sun down to sun up' fast and vigil tonight,

- discuss reforms they seek to prevent future nun sex abuse; and

- urge any one who saw, suspected or suffered sex crimes by nuns and other Catholic officials to come forward, get help and call secular, not church, authorities.

TODAY, Friday, Aug. 1, 2:30 p.m.

Outside the Sheraton Denver, 1550 Court Place, Denver, CO 80202
(866) 716-8134), where hundreds of Catholic nuns are meeting

Four-six men and women who were molested by nuns and are leaders of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (, including one who was sexually assaulted by a nun in Colorado

Despite the considerable public attention on sex crimes by priests and cover ups by bishops, victims know that numerous child sexual abuse cases by nuns remains largely hidden. It is even more difficult, SNAP leaders feel, for anyone sexually victimized by nuns to come forward.

Still, the group is hearing from more and more such victims and predicts this will continue.

In 2004, officials with the nuns' group met once with a small group of SNAP leaders but rejected the victims' suggestions for prevention and healing (see below). As Pope Benedict XVI said to the American Bishops on April 16, 2008, "We will do everything possible to ensure that this does not happen in the future...It is your God given responsibility as pastors to bind up the wounds caused by every breach of trust, to foster healing, to promote reconciliation and to reach out with loving concern to those so seriously wronged." The group is asking the LCWR to follow the Pope's exhortation.

SNAP Requests to (the Leadership Conference of Women Religious) (LCWR):
-- let SNAP put a link on the LCWR webpage
-- ask member orders of the LCWR to do the same;
-- begin fostering a trusting relationship by inviting SNAP members who are victims of sexual abuse by women religious to speak to LCWR member communities at national and regional LCWR conferences
-- provide SNAP with a list of member orders including addresses and contact person names should a survivor of sister or nun sexual abuse wish to find healing and comfort from an order
-- conduct a national review board for sexual abuse by women religious to ensure this abuse comes to an end and so those who were sexually abused by women religious can begin their journeys of healing.

The LCWR is the nation's main association of congregations of Catholic nuns. It has roughly 1,000 members and represents about 95% of the 75,000 Catholic sisters in the US. SNAP is the nation's largest and oldest support group for clergy molestation victims.

Mary Guentner of Milwaukee, WI (414) 418-3191
Steve Theisen of Hudson IA (319) 231-1663
Gabrielle Azzaro of San Diego CA (760) 632-0730
Ann Gleason of St. Louis MO (314) 518-5046 (abused by a nun in Colorado)
David Clohessy of St. Louis MO (314) 566-9790

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests