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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Clergy sex victims pan expected papal apology remarks

Group begs Catholics to “ignore the ‘regret,’ insist on the action”

Self help organization writes to Pope: “Stop the excuse-making & blame-shifting”

It urges Benedict to “protect kids now” by disclosing names of predator priests worldwide

And SNAP wants a global church abuse policy, tougher than the US one, “with real teeth”

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will
-- release a letter they’re sending to the Pope asking him to stop blaming others for the abuse crisis,
-- publicly prod DC Catholic officials to ask the Vatican to adopt a global church abuse policy, &
-- toughen it cover bishops who ignore or conceal abuse, not just priests who commit abuse.

They’ll urge parishioners to
-- ignore an upcoming papal apology about pedophile priests, and
-- ask the Pope to disclose the names of all predator priests worldwide.

They will also urge secular authorities across - Europe and North America – to
---launch investigations into clergy sex crimes and cover ups, like the Irish government has, and
---eliminate “predator-friendly” statutes of limitations which prevent child sex abuse victims from exposing predator priests and corrupt bishops in court.

WHEN
Wednesday, June 9, 11:00 a.m.

WHERE
Outside the Papal Nuncio, (Vatican Embassy) 3339 Massachusetts Avenue NW, in Washington DC

WHO
3-4 clergy sex abuse victims who belong to a Chicago-based international self help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

WHY
Many Vatican observers believe that this week, during a large celebration in Rome, Pope Benedict will issue another apology for the crimes of pedophile priests. http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/04/28/vatican-pope-apologize-abuse-priests/

But SNAP wants the pontiff to avoid blaming gays, journalists, therapists and allegedly “anti-Catholic” bias for the crisis, and minimizing the scandal by claiming “few priests” are molesters, the crimes are “years ago,” the cover ups are “history,” and that abuse is allegedly just as common in other institutions. SNAP questions each of these claims.

Instead, the group wants Benedict to squarely place responsibility where SNAP believes it belongs: on reckless, deceitful and callous church officials who have and continue to ignore and conceal child sex crimes.

And the organization is urging the Pope to take proven steps to safeguard children now. Specifically, SNAP wants the Pope to 1) publicly list, on diocesan websites across the world, the names and whereabouts of all proven, admitted and credibly accused pedophile priests, and 2) toughen the US bishops’ sex abuse policy (especially to cover discipline and removal of corrupt bishops) and expand it worldwide.

(Roughly 24 US dioceses have named pedophile priests on their websites. Baltimore was the first, and Philadelphia has the best list.)

In a letter being sent today by fax and e mail to Pope Benedict, SNAP will ask Benedict to “go beyond mere words, and take real steps to expose, discipline or remove child molesting clerics and complicit church officials.”

CONTACT
Becky Ianni 703 801 6044, Bill Casey 703 568 3438, David Lorenz 301 906 9161, David Clohessy 314 566 9790, Barbara Blaine 312 399 474


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