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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Release
For immediate release: Fri/Sat, June 11, 12
US clergy sex abuse victims head to London
They prod Catholics: Urge Benedict to take action soon
On heels of papal "apology," group reaches out to UK victims
Secular authorities must investigate clergy crimes & cover ups, they say
SNAP: “Before upcoming papal visit church must give police all abuse files
Two US women who are members of the world's largest & most highly visible support group for clergy sex abuse victims are heading to London this weekend to reach out to Catholics and victims who were sexually assaulted by Catholic priests, nuns, seminarians, brothers, volunteers and bishops.
The women, Joelle Casteix of Orange County CA and Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, MO, are leaders of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org).
While in London, the women will urge Catholics to take advantage of the Pope's upcoming London visit to continue to voice their outrage about sex crimes and cover-ups, demand accountability, and urge secular authorities - in the UK and elsewhere - to launch independent investigations into clergy sex crimes and cover ups in the UK's Catholic dioceses (like the Irish government has done in that country).
"Public anger and confusion about the upcoming Papal visit to the UK is clear," said Casteix, SNAP Western Regional Director. "But instead of being discouraged, Catholics can seize the opportunity to demand real change and action from their own bishops to protect children in the UK. Their bishops have to power to keeps kids safe right now."
They are planning at least one parish leafleting, where they will be able to talk directly to mass-goers, telling them about the importance of protecting children though papal action - not words- action on the part of bishops and the involvement of secular law enforcement. They will urge Catholics to tell UK church officials to report crimes, publicly disclose secret priest personnel files and protect children, not predators. They will also meet with local survivors, providing support and guidance in the hopes of beginning a SNAP chapter in the London area.
The visit to London is part of a nine-day European trip, which began in Rome in response to the Vatican's Year of the Priest Gala where where Pope Benedict apologized for the sexual abuse of children, but refused to announce any concrete action or change to protect children from abuse. The women will also visit Brussels, Cologne and Frankfurt.
Contacts in London:
They’re staying in London at the Holiday Inn-Bloomsbury (near the Russell Square underground station). The hotel phone number is +44-871-9429222.
Based in Chicago, SNAP is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. It has been around for 22 years and has more than 9,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in its title, SNAP has members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Its website is SNAPnetwork.org
For more info: David Clohessy (in the US), 314 566 9790 (cell, on Central Time), SNAPclohessy@aol.com
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests