Roster of Press Releases


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Clergy sex abuse victims and supporters urge Catholics to prod bishop to explain his track record on abuse

Clergy sex abuse victims and supporters pass out flyers after mass

They urge Catholics to prod bishop to explain his track record on abuse

Self help group also announces details of their 'town hall meeting' next month

After a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will pass out flyers to parishioners as they leave mass. The leaflets:
- Invite the public to attend a meeting about their bishop's 'troubled' history with clergy sex crimes and cover ups,
- Ask congregants to urge the bishop to attend that meeting and explain his wrongdoing and plans to do better in Saginaw, and
- Explain why Town Hall Meeting is beneficial to parishioners, citizens and children.

Sunday, Sep 13, 10:30 a.m.

Outside St. Mary Cathedral, 615 Hoyt Ave, Saginaw, MI, 989-752-8119

Three-four supporters and members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (, including a Chicago woman who is the organization's founder

In June, SNAP publicly invited Saginaw's new bishop, Joseph Cistone, to participate in an open meeting to let Saginaw Catholics and citizens hear directly from Cistone about serious accusations, made by a grand jury and prosecutors, that he helped conceal the crimes of pedophile priests in Philadelphia.

A 2005 Philadelphia grand jury report harshly criticized Cistone's role in the archdiocesan cover up of alleged child sexual abuse by 63 priests. According to the Philadelphia Enquirer, the three year probe 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 an ex-priest who had abused kids, and
--- Cistone had taken no action against a parish priest despite reports that he sometimes made boys strip and pricked some with pins.

It also concluded that top Philadelphia church officials "excused and enabled the abuse."

Cistone has said 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. The organization wants Cistone to participate in the public forum, with a question and answer session, giving parishioners a chance to hear directly from Cistone about these specific charges.

The flyer will ask parishioners to call Cistone and urge him to participate in the meeting. It will also announce the details of the event to be held next month and invite parishioners and the public to attend.

Barbara Blaine, SNAP President, 312 299 4747
David Clohessy, SNAP National Director 314 566 9790
Brad Sylvester, SNAP Saginaw Leader, 989 450 621

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests