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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Clergy sex abuse victims prod archdiocese to "reach out"

New settlement announced last week against predator priest

Serial child molesting clergyman worked in San Antonio church

Archbishop should officials should “aggressively reach out” to others, group says

SNAP begs others who were sexually assaulted, by any cleric, to 'come forward'

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conferences, clergy sex abuse victims will
-- blast San Antonio's Catholic bishop for staying silent about a recently disclosed $4.6 million sex settlement, and
-- prod him to work harder to find and help others "still trapped in shame, silence and self blame."

They will also beg anyone who saw, suspected or suffered his crimes or misdeeds to get help, call police, expose predators, protect others and start healing

WHEN
Monday, October 26 at 1:00 pm

WHERE
Outside the Cathedral of San Fernando, 231 West Commerce Street

WHO
Three clergy sex abuse victims who are members of SNAP the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a Missouri woman who is the group's national outreach director

WHY
Barely a week ago, a $4.65 million dollar settlement was announced involving lawsuits by six men who were abused as boys by Fr. Thomas Behnke. Behnke is a Catholic priest who worked in San Antonio in the 1950s and 1960s and again in Little Flower parish in San Antonio from 1974-1778

and in Dallas in the 1970s and 1980s. The Dallas Diocese and Behnke’s employer, an Oklahoma City-based religious order called the Discalced Carmelite Friars, were the defendants in the cases.

According to the church's 2002 national sex abuse policy, bishops are mandated to be "open and transparent" about clergy sex abuse and cover up cases. Yet when attorneys for Behnke settled the cases, San Antonio church officials made no announcement to the public or its parishioners.

SNAP believes there are others who were hurt by Behnke who may still be “suffering in shame, silence and self blame.” SNAP is calling on both the Carmelites and the archdiocese to “use every resource at their

disposal to reach out to others who may have been harmed" including using church websites, diocesan newspapers, parish bulletins and pulpits.

From 1959 to 1963, and again in the mid-1970s, Behnke worked at Little Flower church (824 Kentucky) in San Antonio. From 1979 to 1984 Behnke worked at St. Mary of Carmel Church in Dallas. All six boys were abused in this parish (and elsewhere) over nearly two decades. The victims were about 11-12 years old when the abuse began. The crimes happened in the rectory and during trips. From 1984-1987, Behnke worked at the Cathedral in Dallas. The victims are represented by Dallas attorney Lori Watson and Linda Turley of the Turley law firm (800 692 4025, loriw@wturley.com).

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/stories/DN-settle_17met.ART.State.Edition1.4c3aec2.html

Behnke is deceased. He spent several years at a church-run center in New Mexico for pedophile priests and often took boys on overseas trips.

CONTACT
Barbara Dorris 314 503 0003 cell, Barbara Garcia-Boehland 210 725 8329 cell, David Clohessy 314 566 9790 cell


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