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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Clergy abuse victims want bishops to follow Pope's urging

Child sex abuse bill moves forward

Measure faces key assembly vote this week

It’s the first time ever proposal will face a Senate vote

Now-convicted & ousted politician has long blocked it

Groups urge Catholic bishops to “re-think” their opposition

It “flies in the face” of recent comments by Pope Benedict urging justice

What:
Holding signs and childhood pictures at a sidewalk news conference, several victims of child sexual abuse will
-- announce that, for the first time ever, a NY legislative panel will vote soon on a hotly-contested child sex abuse measure,
-- urge Catholic bishops to re-consider their opposition to the proposed legislation (in light of recent remarks by and promises by Pope Benedict), and
-- stress that the legislation will make churches and all institutions in NY safer and more diligent in preventing future child sex abuse

When: Tuesday, June 1 at 1:15 p.m.

Where:
On the front steps of the state Capitol facing State Street in Albany NY

Who:
Four or five victims of child sexual abuse including individuals molested by Jewish and Catholic officials. Some of the victims belong to a Chicago based self help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

Why:
For the first time ever, a controversial child sex abuse measure will face a vote this week in the New York Senate. (For years, powerful Senator Joseph Bruno stalled the legislation time and time again. He’s been convicted and ousted, however.)

On Wednesday, the NY Senate Codes Committee is expected to vote on the bill that would help prevent child sex crimes, expose child sex abusers and help those who’ve already been molested get justice, healing and closure.

The proposal, called the Child Victims Act, would open a one year ‘window’ to allow those under 54 years old who were sexually assaulted as children to file civil lawsuits against both the predator and any employers/supervisors who ignored or concealed the crimes. It is fiercely opposed by some Catholic and Orthodox Jewish officials.

But in recent weeks, Pope Benedict has promised to work harder to stop abuse, admitted that church officials have handled child sex cases poorly, and acknowledged that forgiveness doesn’t negate the need for justice. In light of these widely-reported comments, victims are urging New York’s Catholic bishops to re-consider their opposition to the measure,

Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson and Assemblywoman Marge Markey are the principal sponsors of the Child Victims Act (CVA).

If passed on Wednesday, the proposal must go before the Senate Finance Committee (headed by Senator Kruger), where it has been blocked before. Now, however, that panel is no longer headed by convicted Senator Joseph Bruno, who stalled the legislation time and time again.

Contact:
Richard Tolner 518 428 5000
Mark Lyman 518 852 7295
Kathryn Robb, 781-856-7207
Marci Hamilton, Professor Cardozo, 215-353-8984
Barbara Blaine, 312-399-4747
David Clohessy, 314-566-9790


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