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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

US clergy sex abuse victims head to Europe

Catholic scandal there is spreading across the continent

Hundreds of victims are coming forward in six countries

SNAP wants state probe of child sex crimes & cover ups in dioceses

Chicago woman to start confidential support group for German victims

Two US women who head the world’s largest & most highly visible support group for clergy sex abuse victims are going to Europe today to offer help to adults who were sexually assaulted by Catholic priests, nuns, seminarians, brothers and bishops.

Two US men who were molested as kids by priests are leaving for Europe soon.

All four are leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org). The women are flying to Munich Germany today to start a chapter of their self-help organization in that country and hold a news conference Monday at 2:00 p.m. They will also visit at least two or three countries on the continent.

The SNAP officials are expected to
-- harshly criticize Vatican officials for refusing, even now, to take decisive action to protect kids from predator priest, and
-- urge secular authorities – in Germany and elsewhere - to launch independent investigations into clergy sex crimes and cover ups in Europe’s Catholic dioceses (like the Irish government has done in that country).

They will also
-- express their concern for vulnerable children and wounded adults on the continent, and
-- beg anyone who saw, suspected or suffer clergy sex crimes to speak up, call police, get help, expose predators, protect others and start healing.

“No institution can effectively police or reform itself, especially not an ancient, rigid, secretive, all-male monarchy like the Catholic hierarchy with its deeply-rooted and long-standing practice of concealing clergy sex crimes,” said Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP’s founder and president. “So it’s crucial that secular authorities promptly begin thorough investigations into the church’s on-going scandal, so that the truth can be revealed, the wrong-doers disciplined, the victims healed and the vulnerable protected.”

“Children are best safeguarded when victims, witnesses and whistleblowers find the courage to speak up and call law enforcement,” said Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP’s outreach director. “And victims heal best when they break their silence, name their abuser, and get help from independent sources like therapists and self-help groups.”

SNAP is sorely disappointed in the Pope’s recent letter to Ireland, especially because despite the widespread sexual victimization of kids in that country, the pontiff still refuses to take decisive actions to ameliorate the crisis.

Later in the week, two SNAP leaders from Wisconsin are heading to Rome. They are Peter Isely, SNAP’s long time Midwest Director, and John Pilmaier, SNAP’s Milwaukee Director.

Formed in 1988 and based Chicago, SNAP has 9,000+ members in the US and around the world. It’s a confidential non-profit and its mission is to protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded. SNAP has no affiliation with any church organization and helps victims hurt in any denomination.

CONTACT
Barbara Blaine, SNAPblaine@gmail.com 312 399 4747
Barbara Dorris, SNAPdorris@gmail.com, 314 503 0003
David Clohessy, SNAPclohesy@aol.com, 314 566 9790
Peter Isely, peterisely@yahoo.com, 414 429 7259


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