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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Clergy sex abuse victims want 3 panels disbanded

Each “stays silent” while bishops “act recklessly” with kids’ safety

“Hand-picked” Catholics let two credibly accused clerics stay near kids

Boards should be elected by parishioners, SNAP feels, not named by bishops

Self help group urges church-goers in two dioceses to “donate elsewhere” for now

SNAP says 2 “proven predators” are in church jobs around children and should be suspended

WHAT
Holding signs and photos at a news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will urge
--- California’s Catholic bishops to denounce one of their colleagues who’s keeping a credibly accused predator priest in a parish with a school,
--- the Los Angeles, Fresno and Santa Rosa diocesan sex abuse panels be disbanded, and
--- a retired judge on the LA abuse panel apologize and resign immediately because of a story last Friday on National Public Radio, which exposed his secrecy, recklessness and inaction in child sex cases.

They will also
--- anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes to get help, call police, protect others and start healing

WHEN
Wednesday, April 28 at 11:00 am

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

WHO
Several clergy sex abuse victims who belong to a Chicago-based international support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

WHY
On Saturday, a newspaper disclosed that Santa Rosa Bishop Daniel Walsh is keeping a credibly accused predator priest in a parish (with an elementary school) even though Walsh’s abuse panel recommends that the cleric be ousted. One of the cleric’s victims, who lives in LA, has been paid a large settlement. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20100423/ARTICLES/100429695/1033?p=all&tc=pgall&tc=ar

On Friday, National Public Radio reported that a member of the LA archdiocesan abuse panel, a retired judge named Richard Byrne, admitted that the panel “heard dozens of cases of alleged abuse” but “never once recommended that the archdiocese report any of the allegations to the police." The board never recommended “that the archdiocese alert the parishes when a priest was accused of abusing a child, even though that was church policy,” according to NPR. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126217733

And two weeks ago, NPR also disclosed that a priest deemed guilty of child sex abuse by a Fresno jury, Fr. Eric Swearingen, is still in active parish ministry there. According to NPR, “In 2006, the jury found 9 to 3 that Swearingen had abused Rocha,” but Fresno Bishop John Steinbock “thought the jury got it wrong.” http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125420225&ps=cprs

In each of these three dioceses, SNAP believes the bishops’ hand-picked abuse panels are being derelict in their duties and putting kids in harm’s way. SNAP feels the current boards should be disbanded and replaced with panels that are elected by parishioners, so they will be less beholden to individual bishops and more committed to children’s safety.


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