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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release
Giving Voice to Victims

Clergy sex abuse victims reach out

They urge others hurt by alleged predator to ‘come forward, get help’

Group blasts Catholic church hierarchy for not reporting case to police

SNAP will hand out suggestions to parishioners before meeting by accused priest

WHAT
On the sidewalk outside a meeting called by an accused predator priest, clergy sex abuse victims will hand out fliers. The leaflets urge
-- anyone who saw, suspected or suffered misdeeds by the clerics to come forward, and
-- Catholics to support the accused sex offender privately, so they won’t intimidate other victims and witnesses into staying silent.

The victims will also
-- criticize Catholic officials for refusing to give information to police about the alleged predator, and
-- urge the Venice diocese to yank the cleric’s passport so that he can’t flee the US.

Officials say that it’s possible the priest could be criminally prosecuted.

WHEN
Wednesday, Jan. 21, 1:00 p.m.

WHERE
Outside the Holmes Beach City Hall, 5801 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach, FL

WHO
Two women who are leaders in a Chicago-based self help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), One’s from Missouri, the other is from Florida.

WHY
Fr. Jean Ronald Joseph is accused of molesting a child around 1993. Until last month, he worked at St. Bernard Catholic Church in Holmes Beach. He and his lawyer, John P. Fleck of Bradenton, are holding an public forum today to address the allegations.

SNAP believes accused priests should defend themselves without attacking their accusers and that parishioners should support alleged predators privately, not publicly. They’ll hand out a two page flier with 21 suggestions on the appropriate ways church members should respond when a cleric is accused of child molestation. The group is upset that a few parishioners are mounting a petition drive backing Joseph.

SNAP wants the diocese to urge anyone who ‘saw, suspected or suffered’ the cleric’s crimes to call police officials, not church officials (using the diocesan website, newspaper, parish bulletins and pulpit announcements).

To prevent Joseph from fleeing the US (as dozens of accused predator priests have), SNAP wrote Venice Bishop Frank Dewane, urging him to make Joseph turn over his passport. Dewane hasn’t responded.

http://www.news-press.com/article/20090118/NEWS01/901180375/1002

CONTACT:
David Clohessy 314 566 9790, Barbara Dorris 314 503 0003


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