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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Clergy sex victims release more church records

Church had ‘centers’ for predators as far back as 50 years ago

Frustrated by ‘on-going church secrecy,’ SNAP urges Pope to ‘come clean’

Group is also upset because LA archdiocese & priests still hiding documents

One Catholic official admitted that 30% of rejected seminarians are later ordained

What
Holding signs and child hood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will release a dozen pages of once secret church records proving that the Pope and other top Catholic officials – in Rome and here - knew much about pedophile priests even decades ago. (Several of the documents have never been released before publicly). They will also urge
-- the Pope to disclose how he and his office handled pedophile priests for years from 2001-05, and
-- Cardinal Roger Mahony to prod the Pope to directly answer questions about recent allegations against the Pope,
-- Mahony to speed up the release of thousands of pages about LA predator priests and cover ups.

When
Wednesday, March 31 at 11:00 a.m.

Where
Outside Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 555 W. Temple St. (at N. Grand Ave.) in Los Angeles

Who
A few clergy sex abuse victims who belong to a support group called SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, including a California police officer who did a week-long vigil in front of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels seven years ago.

Why
Newly released records, including letters to the Vatican in the 1960s, show a Catholic official admitting a “tremendous problem” of predator priests. The documents prove that almost 50 years ago, top church staff knew how widespread and incorrigible pedophiles are. They severely undercut recent claims by the Pope’s defenders that he and others in the church hierarchy mishandled cases because they were “on a learning curve.”

Some of the records are written by the head of the Paracletes, a religious order that tries to rehabilitate predator priests. Decades ago, he admitted that “There are now in many parts of the world (facilities) “where ‘Christ’s wounded priests’ may be cared for.” In another shocking acknowledgement, he said that 30% of all priesthood candidates who are first rebuffed because of "question(able) qualifications" are later ordained because “someone in authority overruled” the initial rejection. He also urged the Vatican to adopt a “heavy penalty” for those “tampering with the innocence of the young,” including "retirement . . .within a monastery" or "complete (defrocking)," in part because “Many experienced priests agree (we) not turning out men as dedicated to their priesthood as we did in former days."

The cleric had a private audience with then-Pope Paul VI and later wrote that he opposed “the return of priests to active duty that have been addicted to abnormal practices, especially sins with the young.”

These records, and thousands of other similar pages, were to be made public as part of the $660 million Los Angeles Archdiocese settlement in 2007. Church defense lawyers are still fighting to keep those records hidden.

Several times during his papacy, Benedict has urged bishop to be “transparent” with child sex cases. In light of his advice, and recent disclosures of abuse and cover up in the Pope’s home diocese in Germany, SNAP wants the pontiff to publicly disclosed 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), the Vatican office where all such cases are sent.

SNAP is holding a similar event simultaneously in St. Louis, where the Paracletes are now headquartered. (314-965-0860, stmichael@primary.net, http://www.theservants.org/servants.htm) It’s headed by Fr. Peter Lechner.

Contact
Manny Vega 805-207-9027, David Clohessy 314-566-9790, Joelle Casteix 949-322-7434


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