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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Sex abuse victims & advocates blast archbishop

Two priests were recently removed from ministry

One was put on leave twice, but then sent to another parish

The other is forbidden to ever present himself again as a priest

But church staff makes no public announcement about Vatican penalty

Support group criticizes Catholic hierarchy for its “continued secrecy”

Archdiocesan officials should reach out to others in pain, SNAP says

Organization also wants Brunett to list child molesting clerics on his website

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will
-- announce that a child molesting Catholic cleric has been permanently defrocked by the Vatican, and
-- blast Seattle's archbishop for doing “the bare minimum” with two recently ousted predator priests.

The group will try to hand deliver a letter to Catholic officials urging them to:
---personally visit churches where the clerics worked, begging victims and witnesses to come forward,
---put clear, strong announcements on church websites and parish bulletins, urging anyone who saw, suspected or suffered crimes to call law enforcement, and
---permanently post the names, photos and whereabouts of proven, admitted and credibly accused predator priests on his website.

Finally, the group will also beg anyone with information about the pedophiles to call police, so that kids will be safer and so that the wrongdoers might be prosecuted.

WHEN
Friday, Feb. 19, at 11:00 AM

WHERE
Outside the Seattle Archdiocese headquarters, 710 9th Ave. (corner of Cherry) in Seattle

WHO
Three clergy sex abuse victims and supporters who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a Missouri woman who is the organization’s long time outreach director

WHY
In the past six weeks, two Seattle archdiocesan priests have been removed because of child sex abuse reports. Church officials should do more, SNAP feels, to protect kids from each predator.

Last week, Fr. Dennis Kemp was suspended from active ministry and can never again function as a priest. In July 2007, Kemp was put on administrative leave when allegations surfaced that he had “inappropriate conduct” with a 12 year old. An archdiocesan investigation found Kemp should be removed. Kemp appealed to the Vatican, which finally ruled against Kemp, ordering him to “lead a life of permanent prayer and penance in reparation for the sins of abuse committed by clerics against minors.”

http://www.pnwlocalnews.com/east_king/mir/news/35018619.html

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2007/07_08/2007_07_30_Shen_MercerIsland.htm

Last month, Fr. Michael C. O’Brien was quietly defrocked by the Vatican (an even more serious step). The archdiocese notified some parishioners (and SNAP will release copies of that letter) but refused to make a public announcement. In 1993, O’Brien was put on administrative leave from St. John Church in Vancouver, WA due to sexual abuse allegations, but church officials claim a probe “could not substantiate the accusations.” They reassigned O’Brien to St, Mary of the Valley parish in Monroe. In 2004, O’Brien was again put on leave because of another allegation, but re-instated again. In June 2008, O’Brien was again put on administrative leave and eventually resigned as pastor, and allegedly realized “that he had engaged in behaviors that were not consistent with his priestly vocation.”

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2008/07_08/2008_07_07_Staff_PastorPlaced.htm

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2008/07_08/2008_07_08_Iwasaki_SeattleArchdiocese.htm

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news3/2004_05_30_AP_PriestReturns_Michael_C_OBrien_2.htm

SNAP believes that church officials were reckless and secretive in both cases (and shouldn’t have taken three years to make a ruling about Kemp). The group feels Seattle Archbishop Alex Brunett should aggressively reach out to anyone who has knowledge of either predator’s crimes, especially because they both walk free. SNAP wants Brunett to put notices in parish bulletins, on parish websites and in his archdiocesan newspaper and website urging victims and witnesses to call police.

For the sake of public safety, SNAP thinks Brunett should also post on his website the names of all proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics. (More than 15 bishops, a small minority, have taken this simple, inexpensive, proven step to warn parents about and protect kids from dangerous predators. Brunett, however, has repeatedly refused to do so).

CONTACT
John Shuster, SNAP Seattle Spokesperson, 360 649 2055, cell 360 551 9982
Barbara Dorris, SNAP Outreach Director, 314 503 0003 cell
Barbara Blaine, SNAP President, 312 399 4747


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