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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Victims to Pope: “Start clean up in your backyard”

Group wants pontiff to deal with 8 predators recently in Italy

Some are fugitives from justice; others whereabouts are now unknown

Victims will hold “minute of silence” in honor of dozens hurt at Italian deaf school

They also urge pontiff to rebuke high ranking Vatican aide who ignored abuse reports

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will
-- release a list of six proven or credibly accused predator priests recently in Italy, and
-- urge Pope Benedict to take action against them and reach out to their victims.

They will also
-- hold one minute of silence to honor the courage of deaf men and women who were sexually assaulted as kids at a Verona Catholic school and have begun speaking up recently,
-- prod Benedict to rebuke a top aide who heads the Vatican’s abuse department, for ignoring reports of child sex crimes at the school for a year, and
-- urge others victimized in Catholic institutions to come forward, call police, expose wrongdoers and start healing.

WHEN
Wednesday, June 9, 1:30 p.m.

WHERE
In Rome, at the Hotel Cicerone, Via Cicerone 55, 00193 (tel +39 06 35.76)

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

WHY
While clergy sex crimes and cover ups are widespread across the world, SNAP worries most about the safety of kids in the Third World near predator priests. But in few nations do Catholic officials enjoy greater deference from secular authorities than in Italy (where the nation’s prime minister recently publicly backed the embattled Pope over reports that the pontiff has protected predators instead of children (http://www.lifeinitaly.com/node/21981). That’s one reason why SNAP is urging Pope Benedict to start effectively taking action on clergy sex crimes and cover ups by focusing first on Italy.

The group is 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.

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 the priest predators 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 the spring of 2009, dozens of deaf former students of the Antonio Provolo school in Verona Italy began reporting that 24 priests and lay brothers abused them - sexually and physically - between 1950s to the 1980s. Cardinal William Levada, an American who heads the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) is essentially in charge of abuse for the Vatican. But it took Levada more than a year to even acknowledge the abuse reports from Verona. He did so only after an international media firestorm just a few weeks ago.

SNAP wants Benedict to publicly censure or rebuke Levada, to discourage such recklessness and callousness in the future.
http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/World/Story/STIStory_537317.html
http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/In-Vaticans-backyard-Italy-grapples-with-priest-sex-abuse/516831/
SNAP is holding similar news conferences in two US cities today: Washington DC and Chicago IL.

CONTACT
In Rome: Joelle Casteix 338-456-7942 (Italian cell) jcasteix@gmail.com, Peter Isely 338-456-7879 (Italian cell) peterisely@yahoo.com, Barbara Dorris 314-503-0003 snapdorris@gmail.com (US cell)

In the US: David Clohessy 314 566 9790 SNAPclohessy@aol.com, Barbara Blaine 312 399 4747 SNAPblaine@gmail.com


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