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SNAP
Press Release


 

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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release
Giving Voice to Victims

 

For immediate release:
Wednesday August 13, 2008

Clergy sex abuse victims & Catholics criticize Cardinal

They want photos and addresses of pedophile priests posted on web site

In 2006, George kept a priest in parish for 4 years despite 4 sex allegations

As recently as 2002, Cardinal secretly tried to get another predator freed from jail

Newly released 300 page deposition shows officials ‘still protect predators, not kids’

SNAP wants explanations, apologies & assurances that George won't do this again

WHAT

At a sidewalk news conference, concerned Catholics and clergy sex abuse victims and concerned Catholics) will blast Chicago’s Cardinal George for

-- repeatedly trying, until at least 2002, to get a convicted serial child predator priest out of jail, and

-- keeping a credibly accused predator priest in parish ministry until 2006 despite at least four allegations against him four years earlier.

They’ll urge George to

-- post on his archdiocesan web site the photos, addresses and work histories of all pedophile priests, and

-- publicly pledge to never try such reckless moves in the future.

WHEN

TODAY, Wednesday, Aug. 13, 11:00 a.m.

WHERE

Outside the Archdiocesan chancery office/headquarters, 155 E. Superior in downtown Chicago

WHO

One of the victims in yesterday’s settlement (who spoke publicly for the first time then), several concerned Catholics, and a Missouri man who is the national director of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

WHY

SNAP will release a list of 11 pedophile priests who committed other crimes after having been suspended for molesting kids. With hundreds of child molesting clerics walking free and no longer working, SNAP fears this problem will only grow in the future. For public safety, SNAP wants Cardinal George to post pedophile priests’ addresses, photos and work histories on the archdiocesan website (like the Philadelphia church officials do: http://archphila.org/protection/Updates/update_main.htm

New details and records about what SNAP considers Cardinal Francis George's "callousness and recklessness" have surfaced in two “particularly disturbing and recent cases.”

In one, George knowingly kept a priest in active ministry for at least four years, despite accusations that he’d molesting at least four kids. In the other, George made and admitted repeated, written, secret and recent efforts to get a convicted serial child-molesting cleric out of prison.

In February 2006, George finally suspended Fr. Joseph R. Bennett from his South Holland parish. But both men and women reported being molested as kids by Bennett, including one who voluntarily took and passed a polygraph test. Until yesterday, George kept hidden the number of Bennett’s victims.

In 1994, Fr. Norbert Maday was convicted of molesting two boys in Wisconsin. In 1999 (just five years into Maday’s 20 year sentence), George wrote that he is “taking specific initiatives to bring about (Maday’s) early release.” In 2000, he wrote that he is trying “definite efforts to have a sentence reduction.” In 2002, George acknowledged in writing that he had tried ‘a number of avenues’ for a sentence reduction or early parole, and promised he’d “keep trying.” George revealed none of this to the public or Maday’s victims.

In 2003, the Cardinal’s hand-picked abuse review panel recommended, for the second time, that Maday be defrocked. That didn’t happen until late last year.

CONTACT

David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP National Director 314 566 9790 cell

Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP President & Founder 312 399 4747 cell

Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP Outreach Director 314 862 7688 home


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


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