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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 Denies Victims’ Request to Speak

Self Help Group Also Wants Vatican Investigation into Nuns Expanded

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

Men And Women Who Were Molested Want To Reach Out & Help Others

What:
Outside a hotel where hundreds of Catholic nuns are meeting, clergy sex abuse victims will carry signs, hold childhood photos and hand out fliers to nuns and passers-by. The leaflets urge the nuns to:

• let a person who was molested by a nun speak to their national nuns conference in New Orleans this week, and

• launch a self survey to learn how widespread such sex crimes are.

Afterwards, the victims will try to hand deliver a letter to the heads of the nuns’ organization.

The group is also asking US bishops to expand a new Vatican probe into American nuns to include how nuns respond to and prevent clergy sex crimes by sisters (‘women religious’).

When:
Tuesday, August 11, 2:00 p.m.

Where:
Outside Hilton New Orleans Riverside, Two Poydras Street in New Orleans, LA

Who:
Four-five adults who were sexually abused by nuns, along with several other members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

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 adopted 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:
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 Guenter, 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)
Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP Founder and President 312 399 4747


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