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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Clergy sex abuse victims want event tonight STOPPED

Church members to hold rally tonight for accused predator

Cardinal should "reign them in" so more victims won’t be silenced, SNAP says

Suspended priest's parishioners are "hurting both kids & adults" group believes

SNAP to George: “Insist that cleric’s supporters back him quietly, not publicly”

Top Catholic officials should "teach flock how to respond compassionately" to allegations

WHAT: Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will disclose an “emergency appeal” they’re making to Chicago’s Cardinal George, asking him to stop parishioners from holding a rally tonight in support of a newly suspended alleged predator priest.

They will also publicly beg church members to
--- stop attacking the priest’s accusers, and
--- back the cleric (if they must) quietly, not publicly

Finally, they will also blast church officials for letting
--- accused predator priests sue their accusers, and
--- church goers make mean-spirited comments about alleged abuse victims.

WHEN: TODAY, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2:30 p.m.

WHERE: Outside Archdiocesan headquarters (aka the Chancery) 835 N Rush Street in Chicago

WHO: Three members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org) including a Missouri woman who is the organization’s outreach director

DETAILS: Today’s Tribune reports that St. Mark’s parishioners will hold a rally tonight in support of Fr. Edward Maloney, who was just ousted by the archdiocese because of credible child sex abuse allegations. SNAP is calling and writing and publicly begging Cardinal Francis George today to stop the event from happening.

Such public support for an accused child molester intimidates other victims, witnesses and whistle-blowers (of this priest or other predators) into staying silent. That, in turn, puts kids at risk, SNAP says.

Today’s Tribune also reports that the archdiocese heard of the first abuse report against Maloney more than two years ago, in Oct. 2007. But only last week did George publicly disclose the allegations.

On Sunday, SNAP volunteers handed leaflets to members of St. Mark’s parish urging others hurt by Maloney to come forward.

SNAP is highly critical of both the church’s secrecy and the delayed announcement, because both moves gave Maloney six months to intimidate victims, threaten witnesses, destroy evidence, and fabricate alibis. It also enabled the alleged child molesting cleric to remain around kids.

SNAP believes that had George acted responsibly and disclosed the allegations against Maloney promptly, Maloney might be behind bars now. SNAP also believes Cardinal Francis George should personally visit St. Mark’s and every other place Maloney has worked, begging victims and witnesses to step forward.

Maloney’s two alleged victims are now reportedly in their late 30s and early 40s, according to a church spokeswoman.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Maloney worked at St. Marks for 21 years. He was also assigned to four suburban parishes: St. Simeon in Bellwood, St. David’s in Bridgeport, Santa Maria del Popolo in Mundelein and Mission San Juan Diego in Arlington Heights. Besides St. Mary’s, he worked at three other Chicago parishes: St. Columbkille’s on the west side, St. Ambrose’s on E. 47th, and Precious Blood on W. Congress Parkway. Maloney also taught at Quigley Preparatory Seminary.

On SNAP’s website (SNAPnetwork.org), the group has a list of 21 suggestions for Catholics on “what to do when your priest is accused.”

CONTACT
Barbara Dorris, 314-503-0003, Barbara Blaine, 312-399-4747, David Clohessy, 314-566-9790


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


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