The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Release
Clergy sex abuse victims call on Pope to punish bishop
He put predator near kids despite allegations & criminal charges
Refusal to discipline “reckless” prelates is reason kids are still at risk
SNAP: Deceitful bishops in Tennessee and Norway should also be sanctioned
Pope must "take decisive action" against "such blatant recklessness" group argues
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and supporters will publicly urge Pope Benedict to
-- immediately suspend a bishop who recklessly let an accused Indian fugitive priest be near kids,
-- apologize for and explain 14 months of Vatican deceit over an admitted child-molesting Norwegian bishop, and
-- immediately set up a global on-line registry of proven, admitted & credibly accused child molesting clerics (& a separate one for those who have been sent or moved from one nation to another.
They will also
-- urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups to come forward, call police, expose predators, protect kids and start healing. and
-- give copies of incriminating e mails between the fugitive Indian priest and one of his young victims, a girl the cleric claims to have never met.
WHEN: Thursday, April 8, 1:00 p.m.
WHERE: Outside the Vatican embassy, 3339 Massachusetts Avenue, NW in Washington DC
Five adults who were molested as kids by clergy who are members of a Chicago-based support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, including a Chicago woman who is the organization’s founder and long-time president and recently returned from meeting with European victims
Controversy is swirling around an Indian bishop who is letting an accused fugitive priest live and work with him, despite his facing criminal charges for molesting a girl in Minnesota. Yesterday, church officials disclosed that a Norwegian bishop who stepped down 14 months ago (citing conflicts with staff) actually left because he admitted molesting a child. And yesterday, newly-released secret church records, pried loose in litigation, revealed that a Tennessee bishop deceived a fellow bishop by keeping secret child sex abuse allegations into a now-suspended predator priest.
SNAP contends that as long as prelates like these three are tolerated, and sometimes promoted, in the church hierarchy, child sex crimes and cover ups will continue. SNAP will call on the Pope to discipline these three bishops for starters (either through suspension or demotion) and any others who admit or are proven to have been reckless, deceitful and callous in child sex abuse and cover up cases.
In the past 20 years, only a handful of bishops in the world have experienced any negative consequences for concealing or ignoring clergy sex crimes (including Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston and, more recently, two Irish bishops, John Magee of Cloyne and Donal Murray of Limerick, all of whom resigned).
In the US alone, nearly 20 bishops are accused of molesting children themselves. http://www.bishop-accountability.org/bishops/accused/
--Indian bishop: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/06/world/europe/06church.html?scp=3&sq=jeyapaul&st=cse
--Norway bishop: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/08/world/europe/08church.html
--Tennessee bishop: http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2010/apr/07/moment-of-truth-court-documents-unsealed-in-sex/
Barbara Blaine, SNAPblaine@gmail.com, 312 399 4747
Becky Ianni, RIanni@cox.net, 703 801 6044
David Clohessy, SNAPclohessy@aol.com, 314 566 9790
Barbara Dorris, SNAPdorris@gmail.com, 314 503 0003