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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Clergy sex abuse victims challenge 4 bishops

Each of them met with Ratzinger aide about priest who hurt deaf kids

That meeting, with conflicting accounts, is key source of criticism of Pope

SNAP: They have “a duty to disclose” who nixed defrocking of pedophiles

Support group to buy ads in diocesan newspapers to help “find & heal the wounded”

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at sidewalk news conferences in three cities, clergy sex abuse victims will challenge four US Catholic bishops who met face-to-face with then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger top aide
-- to openly discuss and take questions about an admitted serial pedophile priest who is accused of molesting 200 deaf children, and
-- to publicly and personally apologize for and explain why they kept silent about the case for so long.

The victims will also announce they are trying to buy small ads in two diocesan newspapers to try to find and help others who were molested by the cleric.

WHEN
Tuesday, April 6

WHERE
-In Wichita KS at 1:00 p.m. outside the Catholic diocese headquarters, 424 N. Broadway (corner of E Central)

-In Superior WI at 1:00 p.m. outside the Catholic diocese headquarters, 1201 Hughitt Ave. (corner of 12th)

-In Milwaukee WI at 11:00 a.m, outside Old Saint Mary’s Church, 836 North Broadway (the home parish of Bishop Richard Sklba)

WHO
Several members of support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, SNAPnetwork.org, (2-3 in Superior and Wichita , more in Milwaukee )

WHY
Recently released, long-secret Catholic church documents show that four US Catholic clerics were personally involved in a controversial meeting at which the top aide to then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope) allegedly blocked the defrocking an admitted Wisconsin serial predator priest who is accused of molesting 200 deaf children (and admitted molesting 34 kids). The event took place in 1998 at the , and the question of whether or not to conduct a secret, internal church trial of Fr. Lawrence C. Murphy was discussed.

Much of the recent public firestorm over the Pope’s mishandling of clergy sex abuse and cover up cases stems from disputes over that meeting. Papal defenders blame church officials for the fact that Murphy wasn’t permanently ousted from the priesthood and went on to molest even more kids after being suspended from a Milwaukee school. Others blame Ratzinger and his second-in-command (both then and now), Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

Records show that the American participants in the meeting included three bishops – Superior ’s Bishop Raphael Fliss, Milwaukee ’s Archbishop Rembert Weakland and Milwaukee ’s Auxiliary Bishop Richard Sklba – and one priest who now heads the Wichita diocese, Bishop Michael Jackels (who was a translator at the meeting.)

Weakland has given one interview about the process, but the others have remained silent, while dozens of other top Catholic officials (none of whom were present) have vehemently rallied around the increasingly embattled Pope.

SNAP wants all of the bishops to “come clean” and help clarify the situation. It wants the Wisconsin prelates to work harder to find and support other Murphy victims. And it will try to buy small ads in two Wisconsin diocesan newspapers urging those who were hurt by Murphy to come forward and get help.

Two of Wisconsin prelates who attended the meeting are now retired (Fliss and Weakland). The other two - Jackels and Sklba, are still working for the church.

CONTACT
David Clohessy 314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com
In KS, Barbara Dorris 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com, Dean Albert 316 393 1808
In WI ( Milwaukee ), Mary Guentner 414 418 3191, megmeg@execpc.com
Peter Isely 414 429 7259 peterisely@yahoo.com
In WI ( Superior ), Bob Schwiderski 952 471 3422 skibrs@msn.com


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