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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Clergy sex victims pan expected papal remarks

Group begs Catholics to “ignore the apology, insist on the action”

Self help organization writes to Pope: “end the excuse-making & blames-shifting”

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

SNAP also prods pontiff to “start cleaning up your backyard” & deal with recent Italian pedophiles

It releases names & details about 8 child molesting clerics who are or recently were in or near Rome

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,
-- disclose a list of eight credibly accused priests who are or were recently in Italy, and
-- publicly prod Chicago’s Cardinal George to ask the Vatican to take action against the eight.

The victims will urge parishioners to
--ignore an upcoming papal apology about pedophile priests,
--insist on real reform, especially external investigation and monitoring of sex cases, 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, 1:15 p.m.

WHERE
On the sidewalk in front of the chancery (aka Chicago Archdiocesan headquarters)y at 835 N Rush Street

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 ignoring and concealing child sex crimes.

And the organization is urging the Pope to take proven steps to safeguard children now. Specifically, SNAP wants the Pope to publicly list, on diocesan websites across the world, the names and whereabouts of all proven, admitted and credibly accused pedophile priests.

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

SNAP is also releasing a fact sheet with names and specifics about eight Catholic clerics who are (or recently were) in Italy and who face credible child sex abuse allegations. Most have been sent abroad from other nations. All have been publicly exposed before, some recently, through criminal or civil legal action and/or news accounts.

The group wants the church’s promised “clean up” of the abuse scandal to start in the Pope’s “backyard,” in Italy. With those accused pedophile priests who still walk free, especially those who are fleeing justice, SNAP believes Vatican officials should use their vast resources and global connections to help find the wrongdoers and give law enforcement their whereabouts and personnel files, so they might be prosecuted and kept away from kids. With all of the clerics, SNAP believes Vatican officials should work harder to find and help others who the clerics molested, especially those who may still be trapped in shame, silence and self blame.

In a letter being sent today by fax and e mail to Pope Benedict (and handed out at today’s news conference), SNAP will ask Benedict to “go beyond mere words, and take more real steps to expose, discipline or remove child molesting clerics and complicit church officials.”

CONTACT
Barbara Blaine 312 399 4747 (SNAPblaine@gmail.com), Therese Albrecht 708 263 3050, David Clohessy 314 566 9790 (SNAPclohessy@aol.com)


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