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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Sex Abuse Victims Want To Address Nuns’ Group

National Sisters’ Organization Won’t Let Victims’ Speak

Self Help Group Also Wants Vatican Probe into Nuns Expanded

It Should Include Questions About Sex Abuse & Cover Up, SNAP Says

Men And Women Who Were Molested Want To Reach Out To Others Who’ve Been Hurt

What:
Outside the national headquarters of American nuns, clergy sex abuse victims will carry signs and childhood photos during a sidewalk news conference. They will
-- discuss their experiences of being molested by Catholic sisters,
-- prod the Catholic hierarchy to expand a new Vatican probe to include clergy sex abuse by nuns

They will also call on US nuns to
-- launch a self survey to learn how widespread such sex crimes are, and
-- let victims address the nuns’ annual national conference next week in New Orleans

When:
Monday, Aug. 10th, 1:00 p.m.

Where:
Outside Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) office, 8808 Cameron Street (corner of Fenton) in Silver Spring, MD

Who:
Four adults who were sexually abused by nuns, along with several members and supporters of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), including the group’s founder and president

Why:
More and more, SNAP is hearing from men and women who were molested, as young kids and vulnerable adults, by nuns across the country. Yet nun officials have done little to determine just how widespread such sex crimes and misdeeds by Catholic sisters really is. Nor have the nuns responded compassionately to those victims who have come forward.

The United States Catholic Conference of Bishops had asked the nuns to adopt their sex abuse policy which bishops wrote up in 2002. (It's called the Dallas Charter or the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People). The nuns refused to do so.

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) is t he largest association of Catholic women religious in the United States. In July 2004, a group of survivors of nun sexual abuse asked the LCWR to work with them and devise a plan of "hope, respect, and healing," which specifically would include:

• Reaching out & offering help to victim-survivors of nun sexual abuse;

• Letting survivors speak at the LCWR’s regional and national conferences; and

• Conducting an independent annual audit of nun sexual abuse.

The nuns again refused and refused every year since then.

The LCWR has more than 1500 members, and represents about 95% of the 68,000 women religious in the US. Few of these religious communities of women answer to the local bishops; instead the majority of these orders report to an obscure office in the Vatican.

Contact:
Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP Founder and President 312 399 4747
David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP National Director 314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915 home
Steven Theisen, Northeast Iowa SNAP Co-Leader, 319-231-1663 cell (child survivor of nun sexual abuse)
Mary Guentner, SNAP Milwaukee Leader, 414-418-3191 cell (teen survivor of nun sexual abuse)
Gabe Azzaro, San Diego SNAP Director, 619-885-0544 cell (vulnerable adult survivor of nun sexual abuse)


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


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