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SNAP
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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release
Giving Voice to Victims

 

For immediate release:
Sunday, September 14, 2008

Clergy sex abuse victims to leaflet Harlem church

Pastor was recently ousted for molesting children

Group reaches out to “others suffering in silence and shame”

SNAP blasts archdiocese for “moving slowly & secretly” in the case

In last 5 years, at least two pedophile priests worked at prominent Catholic parish

What:
As parishioners leave & enter mass, clergy sex abuse victims will hand out fliers about their recently suspended pastor who was accused of molesting boys. The leaflets urge Catholics to
– ask everyone they know if they were molested by two pedophile priests who worked here,

– urge victims and witnesses to call police and get independent help, and

– defend their accused pastor privately, so other victims aren’t intimidated from speaking up

The fliers will also be highly critical of New York church officials who, the group feels, mishandled the case, moved too slowly, and should be doing aggressive outreach to others who’ve been hurt.

When:

Sunday, Sept.14, 11:00 a.m. & again at 12:30 p.m.

Where:

In Harlem, outside Church of St. Charles Borromeo, 211 W. 141st St. ( W 114st St. & 7th Ave. )

Who:
Three men who were molested by priests and are leaders of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a Missouri man who is the organization’s long time national director. (His brother is a predator priest.)

Details:

Last month, the New York archdiocese suspended a high-profile, politically-connected priest, Msgr. Wallace A. Harris, from his post in the wake of allegations that he molested at least two boys. Harris, a popular and veteran pastor, has allegedly denied the charges but won’t speak publicly. He helped organize the Pope’s spring visit to New York, chairs the archdiocesan priests’ council, gave the invocation at Gov. Paterson’s inauguration, and has been called ‘a rising star’ within the church.

SNAP feels the archdiocese moved too slowly and ‘severely mishandled’ the case.

Another priest assigned to the parish was convicted of molesting a 12-year-old girl in 2003, and sentenced to a prison term of four months, according to the NY Times.

At least one Harris victim has contacted the Manhattan district attorney office. Another is a former cop, Eric Crumbley, who now pastors the Harlem Faith Center in NY (646-552-7660). 

Harris was ordained in 1972 and Crumbley’s allegations stem from that time period when Harris worked at the Church of St. Joseph of the Holy Family on 125th Street. Other accusations involve students at Cathedral Prep, where Harris taught. The school has since closed.

SNAP is the nation’s largest and oldest support group for clergy molestation victims.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/15/nyregion/15harris.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Contact:
David Clohessy of St. Louis MO SNAP national director (314) 566-9790,
Bob Hoatson 862 368 2800


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


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