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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Clergy sex abuse victims blast the Pope’s/Belgian Bishop inaction on sex abuse

They want state probe of Belgium Catholic dioceses

Victims want church to announce the identities of all predator priests

SNAP says those with information on clergy crimes & cover ups must "speak up"

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos, two prominent US clergy sex abuse victims will:
-- harshly criticize Vatican and Belguim church officials for refusing, even now, to take decisive action to protect kids from predator priests, and
-- urge secular authorities to launch independent investigations into clergy sex crimes and cover-ups in Belgium's Catholic dioceses (like the Irish government has done in that country).

They will also:
-- express their concern for vulnerable children and wounded adults in Belgium,
-- announce the formation of a confidential self-help group for Belgium victims, and
-- beg anyone who saw, suspected or suffers clergy sex crimes to speak up, call police, get help, expose predators, protect others and start healing.

WHEN
Tuesday, June 15 at 11:30 am

WHO
Two US women who lead the world's largest & most highly visible support group for clergy sex abuse victims, called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org).

WHERE
In Brussels, in front of the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula , Sinter-Goedeleplein, 1000 Brussels

WHY
In response to the clergy sex abuse scandal engulfing Europe and to pleas for help from Belgium victims, SNAP is launching a permanent self-help group in Belgium and holding public outreach and media events in several European nations over the next few days.

In SNAP's experience, no institution can effectively police or reform itself, especially not an ancient, rigid, secretive, all-male monarchy like the Catholic hierarchy with its deeply-rooted and long-standing practice of concealing clergy sex crimes.

The group believes it's crucial that secular authorities in Belgium promptly begin thorough investigations into the church's on-going scandal in Belgium, so that the truth can be revealed, the wrong-doers disciplined, the victims healed and the vulnerable protected.

Over the past 22 years, SNAP has also learned that victims heal best when they break their silence, name their abuser, and get help from independent sources like therapists and self-help groups. Children are best safeguarded, SNAP feels, when victims, witnesses and whistleblowers find the courage to speak up and call law enforcement. SNAP is sorely disappointed in the Pope's recent apology in Italy, which included no concrete actions to protect kids and his letter to Ireland. Despite the widespread sexual victimization of children in Europe, the pontiff still refuses to take decisive actions to ameliorate the crisis.

Formed in 1988 and based Chicago, SNAP has 9,000+ members in the US and around the world. It's a confidential non-profit and its mission is to protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded. SNAP has no affiliation with any church organization and helps victims hurt in any denomination.

CONTACT
Barbara Dorris, SNAPdorris@gmail.com, +1 314 503 0003
Joelle Casteix, jcasteix@gmail.com, +1 949 322 7434

US contact: David Clohessy, 314-566-9790, US cell, Central Time, SNAPclohessy@aol.com


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