Roster of Press Releases


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Pope & top aide kept 150 sex allegations vs. predator secret

In 1998, they rebuffed 3 bishops who wanted pedophile ousted

Then-Ratzinger’s staff refused to act because of “fear of scandal”

Kids across Midwest & IL, attended school where crimes occurred

Victims want pontiff to “come clean” on cases he handled in 2001-2005

SNAP urges Chicago’s Cardinal to do outreach & prod Pope to act now

US cleric molested hundreds of hearing impaired children in confession

Vatican’s #2 official is also implicated in dozens of pages of long-secret records

Holding signs and childhood photos at sidewalk news conferences, in Rome and five US cities, clergy sex abuse victims will
-- disclose pages of long-secret church records showing that the world’s top two Catholic officials insisted, for years in the 1990s, on keeping a serial US predator priest’s case secret, fearing “scandal,”
-- prod Chicago’s Cardinal to reach out to Illinois kids who may have been hurt by the cleric,
-- urge the Pope to disclose how he and his office handled pedophile priests for years earlier this decade.

Thursday, March 25, 2:00 p.m.

Outside the Catholic archdiocesan chancery office, 835 N. Rush (corner of Pearson)

2-4 clergy sex abuse victims who are leaders of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (

According to a new New York Times story, a US pedophile priest reportedly abused between 150-200 deaf kids at a school over 24 years, often during confessions. Yet for years, a small Vatican bureaucracy headed by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now the Pope) fought three US bishops’ efforts to oust the predator, citing a fear of scandal.

Initially, Ratzinger twice ignored letters from Wisconsin Archbishop Rembert Weakland. Later, Ratzinger’s then-top aide, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, said Weakland could discipline the priest using a controversial 1962 church policy called ‘Crimens Sollicitationis’ that mandates extreme secrecy. But the predator wrote to Ratzinger, seeking mercy, and Bertone then reversed course. At a meeting in Rome with three Wisconsin bishops, Bertone discouraged them from taking any formal action against Murphy (even though the priest admitted molesting dozens of boys). In 1998, Murphy died. His crimes only came to light in 2002.

Bertone is now the Vatican Secretary of State, the second most powerful church official in the world.

Because the school attracted deaf kids across the Midwest, SNAP wants Cardinal Francis George to aggressively seek out and offer help to any Chicago-area children who may have been molested by Murphy. SNAP also wants George to prod his boss, the Pope, to be more forthcoming about this case and others.

As Pope, Benedict has repeatedly paid lip service to “transparency” in his advice to bishops on child sex cases. In light of this, and recent disclosures of abuse and cover up in his home diocese of Munich, SNAP wants the pontiff to publicly disclose how he handled hundreds of cases from across the globe from 2001-2005 as head of CDF, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Murphy worked at St. John’s school from 1950-1974 and headed the school from the early 1960s through 1974. It’s now closed. Besides Weakland, Bishop Richard Sklba of Milwaukee and Bishop Raphael Fliss of Superior also sought Vatican action against Murphy. None acted, however, until civil lawsuits were threatened.

SNAP is holding similar news conferences today (Thursday) in Rome and four other US cities (Washington DC, Milwaukee WI, Superior WI, and Boulder Junction WI). For details, see

Several of Murphy's victims are represented by Minnesota attorneys Jeff Anderson (651 227 9990, 612 817 8665 cell) and Mike Finnegan (651 227 9990, 612 205 5531 cell).

In Chicago: David Clohessy,, 314 566 9790, Mary Guentner, 414 418 3191

In Rome: +49-172-1676 93, Peter Isely,, 414 429 7259, from US: 0039 3388970386, Barbara Blaine, 312 399 4747, Barbara Dorris,, 314 503 0003, John Pilmaier,, 414 336 8575

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests