Survivors Network of
those Abused by Priests
For immediate release:
Giving Voice to Victims
Monday, December 8, 2008
Clergy sex abuse victims challenge diocese to do more
Make openness' and prevention top priorities, they say
Group wants offenders' names & photos posted on church web site
SNAP: "Disclose whereabouts & supervision of potentially dangerous clerics
Self help group urges bishop to actively seek out & welcome undisclosed victims
SNAP to bishop: "Kids need & Catholics deserve transparent action, not words"
Organization blasts church officials for refusing to consider reforms during talks
At a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will
-- spell out a list of abuse prevention reforms they'rechallenging Springfield's bishop to adopt
-- criticize him from refusing to adopting them before or during settlement discussions, and
-- beg other church officials to pressure him to reconsider, so that kids will be safer & abuse will be prevented
Monday, Dec. 8, 1:15 p.m.
Outside the Springfield Catholic diocese headquarters ('chancery office'), Elliot Street (off State) in Springfield MA
Supporters and men and women who were molested as kids by Catholic priests and who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
Calling last week's settlement of abuse and cover up lawsuits 'the first,bare minimum step,' victims will urge church officials to work harder now to both protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded.
They want Springfield's bishop to take specific abuse prevention steps, including
a) post the names of priests accused of sexual offenses in/on the church newspaper/website,
b) put proven, admitted and credibly accused abusers into treatment centers, and
c) disclose specific supervision and support plan for each credibly accused priest to assure safety in neighborhoods where the diocese's pedophile priests are living. (SNAP estimates that there are roughly a dozen such men living throughout the diocese among unsuspecting neighbors and getting little or no supervision.).
They also want the bishop to personally visit each parish where a molester worked, give details to the parishioners, and emphatically prod victims and witnesses to contact police about any alleged crimes or misdeeds by the clerics.
These moves, SNAP emphasizes, should have been taken long ago. At least one victim during the recent settlement discussions wanted such reforms to be considered but was told they would not be.
Peter Pollard 413 247 9539 or 413 335 9969, David Clohessy 314 566 9790