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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Clergy sex abuse victims want "outreach" to "others in pain"

They prod Montana Catholic officials to ‘find and help the wounded’

Self help group warns those molested about upcoming Nov. deadline

Anyone who was violated by Jesuit clerics or workers can get compensation

SNAP also wants bishop to let families know about predator priests who worked in Missoula

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy molestation victims will urge Montana Catholic officials to
-- alert their parishioners and the public about an impending deadline by which those abused must come forward,
-- put notices in the diocesan newspapers and parish bulletins urging victims to come forward, call police and get help,
-- disclose to the public that a now-deceased credibly accused child molesting cleric who worked at a Missoula parish, and
-- personally visit any parish where a cleric has been accused of sexual abuse, urging those who have suffered abuse, seen or suspected abuse to contact law enforcement.

WHEN
Thursday, Sept. 3, 11:00 a.m.

WHERE
Outside St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, 420 West Pine St (406 542-0321) in Missoula

WHO
Two-three sex abuse victims (one from Montana & one from Missouri) who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org). One is the organization's

long-time national director who was molested as a child (and whose brother is a predator priest).

WHY
Earlier this year, the northwest Jesuit Province sought bankruptcy protection to avoid as many as 200 trials in child sex abuse and cover up cases. As part of the process, the Jesuits are required to seek out and notify victims of sexual abuse by Jesuit priests, brothers or volunteers that they can step forward if they were molested by Jesuit employees in the region (MT, AK, OR, WA, & ID). A judge has said such victims must report the crimes by November 30th.

SNAP wants the Helena and Great Falls-Billings bishops to put notices in their parish bulletins and diocesan newspapers about the November deadline.

So far, victims of Jesuit clerics have disclosed abuse in several tribes (including the Salish-Kootenai, Blackfeet, and Nez Perce), on other several reservations (including Rocky Boy) and several boarding schools (including the Ursuline school in the Flathead Valley) and Jesuit-run missions (including St. Ignatius Mission).

SNAP suspects that there are dozens of Montana men and women who were victimized by Jesuits over the past few decades. Many of them, the group believes, are likely still suffering in shame, silence and self blame. SNAP urges those in pain to speak up, report the crimes, protect other kids, and begin to heal.

The group also wants Helena's bishop to admit that two now-deceased Jesuit priests - Fr. A. J. ("Freddie") Ferritti and Fr. Bernard A. Harris - worked in Montana churches. (Ferritti was at St. Ignatius Mission near Polson and Harris was at St. Francis Xavier in Missoula). In January, Ferritti was accused in a civil lawsuit of molesting three Native American girls at an Idaho Nez Perce reservation. In 2006, Harris was accused in a civil suit of molesting four Oregon siblings between 1968-1972. Until today, there's been little or no public attention drawn to the fact that Ferritt and Harris worked within the Helena diocese. (St. Francis Xavier parish has been and is staffed by Jesuits.)

CONTACT
David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP National Director 314 566 9790 cell
Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP National Outreach Director 314 862 7688 home 314 503 0003 cell


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


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