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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Clergy sex victims expose abusive bishop's whereabouts

He's left treatment center and is now in DC retirement home

Group wants 20+ offending US prelates put into secure, remote facilities

SNAP also urges Vatican to investigate them and sanction the guilty ones

Self help organization also deplores Catholic hierarchy’ “continuing secrecy”

What
Holding signs and childhood photos at two sidewalk news conferences, clergy sex abuse victims and supporters will
-- disclose that a Springfield MA bishop indicted for molesting kids has quietly moved from a treatment center into a retirement home, and
-- blast church officials – in MA and in DC - for letting him do so, and for their continued secrecy surrounding his whereabouts and status.

They will also urge the Pope and others in the church hierarchy to
-- force the bishop back into a more secure facility,
-- disclose the whereabouts of 20+ other accused sex offender prelates across the US,
-- investigate allegations against them and sanction those found to be credibly accused and
-- insist that they, too, live in remote, independent, well-supervised centers so that they can get treatment and so that kids will be safer.

WHEN: Tuesday, May 25, 12:30 p.m.

WHERE: In Washington DC, outside the Bishop O’Boyle Residence, 1150 Varnum St. N.E
                 In Springfield MA, outside the Springfield Catholic Diocese HQ (chancery), 65 Elliot Street

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

WHY: While three European Catholic bishops have resigned recently because of child sex abuse allegations, more than 20 living US Catholic bishops are accused of molesting children yet face no church investigations or discipline and live with little or no supervision.

SNAP has recently learned that the former head of the Springfield MA Diocese, Bishop Thomas Dupre, has left a church-run treatment center in Maryland and now lives in the Bishop O’Boyle Residence, a DC retirement facility for priests. For years, Dupre lived at the St. Luke’s Center in Suitland MD, after suddenly stepping down in 2004 citing unspecified health reasons, one day before the Springfield News Republican disclosed that he was accused of molesting kids. Later, Hampden County District Attorney William M. Bennett charged Dupre for the crimes but didn’t prosecute because of the statute of limitations.

For years, despite repeated requests from clergy sex abuse victims and advocates, church officials have refused to disclose Dupre’s whereabouts or assure citizens and Catholics that he’s being supervised or monitored. Similarly, most of the other 20+ credibly accused child molesting US bishops aren’t being monitored, nor are their whereabouts made public. In a letter to Pope Benedict and other Vatican officials, SNAP will ask that these men be forced, for the sake of public safety, to live in supervised treatment facilities. For the healing of their victims, SNAP will also ask that church investigations into the charges against them be held, the findings announced, and sanctions issued against those deemed guilty or credibly accused.

The group also feels Springfield church officials should disclose to parishioners how much money is being spent on Dupre’s housing, salary and legal defense.

Five years ago, in a letter to current Springfield Bishop Timothy McDonnell, SNAP pushed McDonald to have Dupre undergo extensive therapy and have his whereabouts disclosed.

The three European bishops who have resigned in the wake of child sex abuse allegations or admissions are Bishop Walter Mixa of Germany, Bishop Roger Vangheluwe of Belgium and Bishop Georg Muller of Norway.

CONTACT: In MA - Bill Nash 413 219 4312 cell, Peter Pollard 413 335 9969 cell
In DC – David Lorenz 301 906 9161; cell, Becky Ianni 703 801 6044 cell
For both/either - David Clohessy 314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915 home


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