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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Victims want action on year-old abuse case

Church has been silence since cleric was ousted

Survivors of clergy abuse form local self help group

It blasts Pittsburgh for article defending the Pope recently

SNAP urges top church officials to post names of predators on website

WHAT
After a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will hand-deliver a letter to the Pittsburgh Catholic bishop urging him to
--publicly disclose the outcome of a church investigation into alleged child sex crimes against a Charleroi priest who was accused a year ago of molesting a child,
--post on the diocese website the names and whereabouts of all proven, admitted and credibly accused abusive priests, nuns, seminarians, brothers and lay employees, and
--give the victims’ group ‘equal time’ in the local Catholic newspaper and on the diocesan website to rebut what they consider “an especially callous and disingenuous” defense of the Pope’s cover up of child sex crimes.

The victims will also
-- announce the formation of a support group for clergy sex abuse victims and their loved ones in Pittsburgh, and
-- urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes to come forward, call police, expose wrongdoers, protect kids and start healing.

WHEN
Wednesday, May 12th, 1:30 pm

WHY
Two-three individuals who are clergy abuse victims or supporters and who belong to a Chicago-based support group called SNAP, (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), including a St Louis woman who is a former Ohio Valley resident and is now the organization’s Midwest Associate Director.

WHERE
Outside the diocese chancery office, 111 Blvd. of the Allies (corner of Market St.) in Pittsburgh, PA

VISUALS
The group will hold signs and childhood photos.

WHY
Last June, Fr. David Dzermejko was suspended from Mary Mother of the Church parish in Charleroi because of credible allegations of child sexual abuse. But as best SNAP can tell, Pittsburgh Bishop David A. Zubik has since been silent about Dzermejko. The group believes citizens and Catholics deserve to know his whereabouts and the status of that probe. SNAP also wants Zubik to work harder to find others who may have been hurt by Dzemejko.

The group is asking Zubik for equal time in the diocesan newspaper, to present what it calls a “more balanced view” of evidence and allegations that the Pope has ignored or concealed child sex crimes. SNAP believes Zubik can and should defend his boss in ways that don’t upset, intimidate and discourage others who have been molested from speaking up, exposing predators and getting help.

Also, for the sake of public safety, SNAP wants Zubik to post on his diocesan website the names, photos and whereabouts of all proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics. Roughly 20 US bishops have done this. http://www.bishopaccountability.org/. It’s the least any bishop who wants to protect kids should do, SNAP feels.

Regardless of what Zubik does or doesn’t do, SNAP is establishing a confidential, independent support group in Pittsburgh for men, women and kids who have been sexually violated by clergy at any age and in any denomination. SNAP uses a self help model, and has similar groups that meet on a regular basis in 65 cities across the US and in five foreign countries. SNAP’s goal is to heal the wounded and protect the vulnerable.

Dzermejko was ordained in 1974 and worked at churches in Natrona Heights, Perrysville and Penn Hills.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world's oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. It has been around for 22 years and has more than 9,000 members across the world. Despite the word "priest" in the title, SNAP helps people who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers.)

Contact:
Judy Block Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, 636 433 2511
Steven Spaner, of St Louis SNAP, 314- 994 3534
David Clohessy, SNAP National Director, 314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915
Barbara Dorris, SNAP Outreach Director 314 503 0003 cell


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