Roster of Press Releases


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Clergy sex abuse victims challenge newly-installed bishop

“Come to town hall meeting & discuss criminal probe,” group urges

Grand jury blasted top Saginaw cleric for "complicity" in clergy sex crimes

"Your flock deserves straight answers, not ‘spin’ and excuses," self help group says

SNAP to bishop : “Tell people where predator priests now live, so children will be safer”

WHAT: After a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will try to hand deliver a letter to Saginaw's newly installed Catholic bishop, urging him to
-- reveal, for the sake of public safety, the whereabouts and status of two suspended Saginaw predator priests,
-- visit the parishes where they worked, urging victims and witnesses to come forward, and
-- publicly explain, in detail, his actions and complicity in Philadelphia clergy sex cases and why he was harshly criticized in a thorough grand jury report on the scandal there

The group will also disclose the date, time, and location of a town hall meeting they will hold to discuss the Philadelphia grand jury findings.

WHEN: Monday, August 31, 2 pm

WHERE: Outside the Saginaw Catholic diocese headquarters, 5800 Weiss in Saginaw

WHO: Four - six supporters and members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (, including a Chicago woman who is the organization's founder

WHY: In June, SNAP held a press conference and hand delivered a letter to Saginaw’s controversial newly appointed bishop, Joseph Cistone. The group urged him to hold a town hall meeting in regards to a 2005 Philadelphia grand jury report, which concluded that
--- in 1996, Cistone was complicit in silencing a nun who tried to alert members of a parish about an abusive priest,
--- in 2002, Cistone took no action to warn a suburban school district that one of its teachers was a former priest known to abuse children, and
--- Cistone had taken no action against a parish priest despite reports that he sometimes made boys strip and pricked some with pins.

The report also concluded that top Philadelphia church officials "excused and enabled the abuse." Cistone has said, in 2005 and again earlier this year, that he believes "it would not serve any purpose to revisit the grand jury report."

SNAP disagrees and believes Catholics deserve (and victims need) Cistone and other church officials to publicly explain their "callousness, recklessness and deceit" if there's any chance for real healing.

Cistone has yet to provide any type of public forum to discuss these findings, so SNAP is organizing their own public forum and is inviting Cistone, and Catholics, to attend.

The group is also calling on Cistone to publicly disclose the whereabouts of two suspended Saginaw pedophile priests: Fr. Richard Szafranski (who was accused in 2006 of molesting a girl) and Fr. Leonard Wilkuski (who was put on leave in 2002 after admitting sexual misconduct).

SNAP wants Cistone to visit the parishes where the two predators worked, and personally urge victims and witnesses to come forward and call police.

CONTACT: Barbara Blaine SNAP President, 312 399 4747, Brad Sylvester Saginaw SNAP Leader, 989 450 6210, David Clohessy, SNAP National Director, 314 566 9790

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests