The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Release
Clergy sex abuse victims push Catholic bishops
They urge church officials to seek info on accused priest
Alleged predator faces charges overseas for molesting a boy
But prelates in Indiana and Michigan should seek out others, SNAP says
Self help group believes more likely "saw, suspected or suffered" cleric's crimes
WHAT: After a sidewalk news conference, two clergy sex abuse victims will try to hand deliver a letter to Indiana Catholic officials urging them to
Thursday, Feb. 18, 11:30 a.m. South Bend
Outside the South Bend Chancery Office, 114 West Wayne Street in South Bend IN
WHO: Two Chicago women who were molested by priests and belong to a self help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org). One is SNAP's founder and president.
VISUAL: They will hold a sign, childhood photos and a picture of the accused predator priest.
WHY: A priest who's originally from Ireland, Fr. Francis Markey, will likelysoon be extradited to his homeland where he faces child sex abuse charges. Last week, U.S. Magistrate Judge Christopher Nuechterlein, denied Markey's request to remain in the US.
SNAP wants current and former church officials and church members, in Indiana and Michigan, to "aggressively reach out" to anyone with information about any misdeeds by Markey. (News accounts indicate that until recently, Markey had been working as a drug and addiction counselor in Michigan, with clients including young people.)
Specifically, the group wants new Indiana Bishop Kevin Rhoades and his staff to use their diocesan website, diocesan newspaper and dozens of parish bulletins and parish websites to alert parishioners to the allegations against Markey. SNAP also wants Rhoades to personally visit places where Markey has worked, even temporarily substituting for a vacationing priest by saying Sunday masses) and prodding victims andwitnesses to speak up.
All too often, the group says, Catholic hierarchy does "the bare minimum," and responds only to subpoenas, rather than taking the initiative to help law enforcement find victims, witnesses and information that can help build strong criminal cases against predator priests.
According to an Irish newspaper, "Markey, 82, was arrested by US marshals last November at his Indiana home in connection with the alleged rape of a 15-year-old boy in 1968. Markey and his attorneys have been fighting the extradition bid since. (He's) accused of raping a 15-year-old boy twice, including the day of the then-teenager's father's funeral."
Markey's lawyers include Mahmoud Bassiouni and Robert Truitt.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests