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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Self help group blasts diocese's spending & tactics

It wants bishop to guarantee continued therapy payments for victims

While ‘feigning poverty,’ church pays benefits to offending priests & PR firms

“Do for the wounded what you’ve already done for the predators,” SNAP says

Victims urge Catholics to “donate elsewhere” til Chapter 11 process is resolved

What:
Holding signs and pictures of themselves when they were abused, victims of clergy sex abuse and their supporters will hold a sidewalk news conference and :

- Blast the Wilmington Bishop for ‘crying poor’ while spending money on costly PR firms, treatment of pedophile priests and underhanded legal tactics,
- Insist that he take legal action to guarantee continued therapy payments to dozens of victims of pedophile priests during bankruptcy proceedings,
- Ask Catholics to withhold donations to the Church until officials stop wasting money on cover-ups and PR spin, and
- Urge the bankruptcy judge to make public all secret documents, settlements and bankruptcy hearings

When:
Monday, November 30 at 1 pm

Where:
Outside the Wilmington Diocese Headquarters 1925 Delaware Ave. (corner of Union St.) in Wilmington

Who:
Three to four men and women who are sexual abuse victims and their supporters who are members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), the nation's largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in religious organizations.

Why: Earlier this year, the Wilmington Catholic diocese sought bankruptcy protection to avoid more than 150 child sex abuse trials. But recently, documents have revealed that church officials are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on expensive PR firms, treatment for offending priests, and legal tactics to keep documents and hearings secret. http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20091128/NEWS01/911280348/AP-wants-priest-abuse-settlement-details

And recently, Wilmington’s bishop asked a judge to guarantee continued payments to child molesting clergy. At a bare minimum, SNAP wants the bishop to take similar legal action to guarantee continued therapy for victims of those predator priests.

On Tuesday, December 1, a judge will hold a public hearing at which creditors - including victims of clergy sex crimes - will be able to ask direct questions of diocesan Vicar General Msgr J. Thomas Cini. (A similar hearing in the Diocese of San Diego bankruptcy was a disaster for its bishop, who was unable to answer questions about the care and counseling of the more than 150 victims in that diocese). http://www.votfbpt.org/God_Inc_San_Diego.pdf

Victims and their supporters are blasting the Diocese for using "scorched earth" legal tactics. "They are spending money like crazy to protect themselves from exposing the truth about abuse," said Judy Miller, SNAP Delaware Director. "They have their own newspapers and a rapt audience every Sunday, yet they spend more than $100,000 on a PR firm. Telling the truth is free." The diocese is also spending thousands on the care of offending priests.

Finally, they are asking Catholics to withhold all donations to the diocese until the bankruptcy is resolved, and donate instead to other charities that help children, not child molesters.

Tuesday's public hearing will be at 10 am at the Doubletree Hotel, 700 King Street, Wilmington.

Contact:
Judy Miller of Wilmington, SNAP DE Director, (302) 234-1519, (302) 397-1622
Barb Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP Outreach Director (314) 503-0003
Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, CA, SNAP CA Director (949) 322-7434


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


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