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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Clergy sex abuse victims beg bishop to not appeal ruling

It would open up thousand pages of long-secret church records

Documents could help Catholics learn which priests helped predators

Vlazny will ‘be tempted" to “spin,” delay, & appeal decision, victims fear

But "keeping secrets about pedophilia is morally wrong" group tells top church officials

SNAP also prods those who “enabled child sex crimes” to “come clean voluntarily” now

WHAT
After a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will try to hand deliver a letter to Portland’s Catholic bishop, urging him to
--follow Pope’s recent admonitions to “do everything” to help victims heal,
--not appeal a new court ruling that opens up pages and pages of long-hidden church records about predatory priests, and
--insist that his priests also not appeal the decision.

They’ll also urge
-- any current or former church staffer or member who ignored or concealed child sex abuse reports to voluntarily disclose their wrongdoing now, before the documents are released, and
-- anyone who saw, suspected or suffered abuse by clerics to come forward, get help, and call police.

WHEN
Tuesday, July 14, 1:00 pm.

WHERE
Outside the Portland Archdiocese headquarters/chancery, 2838 E Burnside Street, Portland OR

WHO
Two-three clergy molestation victims who belong to a support group called SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) including a Portland man who is the organization’s Oregon director

WHY
SNAP is begging Portland Archbishop John Vlazny to NOT appeal yesterday's court decision that lets the media and the public see more than a thousand pages of previously confidential church records about pedophile priests and those who may have helped hide their crimes.

Judge Elizabeth Perris ruled that the documents could be made available in 30 days unless the accused priests or the archdiocese appealed.

Already, however, Vlazny’s spokesman says he's "reviewing his (legal) options," and SNAP strongly suspects that he will appeal the ruling or delay the disclosure. For the safety of kids and the healing of the church, SNAP is urging Vlazny to accept the ruling, and not try to overturn it, and let the documents surface. SNAP suspects the records will reveal the names of present and past church employees who knew or suspected abuse and ignored or hid it. The group wants Vlazny to prohibit his priests’ from appealing as well.

SNAP is also encouraging those individuals to publicly confess their wrongdoing now.

In public addresses, the Pope has said “it is important to establish the truth of what happened” regarding clergy sex crimes and that Catholics should “do everything possible” to heal the wounds caused by pedophile priests. Continued secrecy, legal hairsplitting and delays, SNAP believes, contradict the Pope’s stated wishes.

Oregon kids will be safer and Catholics will be reassured, SNAP's believes, "if Vlazny stops “exploiting every legal technicality and maneuver your lawyers can dream up, and start acting like a compassionate shepherd instead of a cold-hearted CEO, and let the truth emerge.”

A copy of the ruling is available at www.OandC.com. (click on the "read More" and at the bottom of the release is a link to the decision). Portland attorney Erin Olson represents the 22 victims who are pushing for the disclosure.

http://www.oregonlive.com/news/index.ssf/2009/07/portland_archdiocese_papers_se.html

http://salem-news.com/articles/april182007/catholic_court_41707.php

CONTACT
Bill Crane 503 781 2345, David Clohessy 314 566 9790 cell, Barbara Dorris 314 862 7688


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