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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Victims & Catholics want “thorough” lists of offenders

Two MA Catholic bishops have promised to release names soon

For "public safety & education," groups push for "broad” disclosure

Dioceses should include abusive nuns, bishops, seminarians & lay workers, they say

And they want bishops to avoid "arbitrary distinctions" & list religious order offenders too

It’s good for healing, groups feel, that bishops also name credibly accused clerics who are deceased

What
Holding signs and childhood photos at sidewalk news conferences, clergy sex abuse victims and supporters in four Massachusetts cities will urge
-- two Massachusetts bishops to live up to their pledge to release lists of offending clergy soon,
-- two other Massachusetts bishops to do likewise, and
-- all four of them to avoid “hair-splitting” distinctions to keep some offending clergy names hidden.

The group will also prod anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes in Massachusetts to speak up, call police, get help, protect others, expose offenders, and start healing.

(IN BOSTON, they will also announce that some 220 Boston priests have been accused of abuse. AND IN SPRINGFIELD, they will give out copies of a never-disclosed email from the diocesan lawyer revealing the number of credibly accused clerics there.)

WHEN: Thursday, June 24

WHERE:
At 11:00 a.m. in Springfield: Outside the Springfield Catholic Diocese HQ (chancery), 65 Elliot Street

At 1:00 p.m. in Boston: Outside Holy Cross Cathedral in the south end, 1400 Washington Street

At 1:00 p.m. in Fall River: Outside the Catholic bishop’s office, 47 Underwood

At 1:00 p.m. in Worcester: Outside the Catholic Diocese HQ (chancery), 49 Elm Street

WHO:
Several clergy sex abuse victims who belong to a Chicago-based support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org) and several concerned Catholics who belong to a Waltham-based research group called BishopAccountability.org

WHY:
Two weeks ago, Pope Benedict promised that the Catholic hierarchy would “do everything possible” to prevent future abuse. In light of that pledge, victims and advocates are urging Massachusetts bishops to follow the lead of 24 US bishops and quickly disclose the names of all proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics who have lived or worked in their dioceses. (About two dozen American bishops have done this, but none in Massachusetts have.)

In recent months, bishops in Boston and Springfield have both said they will release such lists.

(Springfield) http://www.cbs3springfield.com/news/local/96332319.html

(Boston) http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/03/13/cardinal_sean_omalley_cites_progress_made_against_clergy_abuse/

Based on experience, both SNAP and BishopAccountabilty.org fear that the lists will be incomplete. They are pushing the Boston and Springfield prelates to include ALL credibly accused clerics - living and dead, diocesan and religious order, those ordained here and those ordained elsewhere, and those in all religious positions (deacons, brothers, nuns, bishops, seminarians and lay workers). The groups want the names permanently posted on the diocesan websites and included periodically in each of the hundreds of weekly parish bulletins given out at mass. The information should include the cleric’s seminary background, assignment history, and current status, and be regularly updated to include newly accused individuals.

Bishops in the Fall River and Worcester (the other two Massachusetts Catholic dioceses) have not recently addressed the issue of such disclosures.

According to BishopAccountability.org, here are the numbers of publicly accused clerics in each of the four dioceses: Boston-205, Springfield-47, Fall River-30 and Worcester-40. The group notes that the actual number of alleged offenders is likely significantly higher in each diocese, because BA.org lists only those clerics against whom allegations have been lodge in the public domain – in civil lawsuits, criminal prosecution or news accounts.

In 2002, Baltimore became the first US diocese to disclose names. A good current example is the Philadelphia archdiocese: http://archphila.org/protection/Updates/update_main.htm.) Here is a list of all the dioceses that have disclosed names: http://www.bishop-accountability.org/AtAGlance/lists.htm

CONTACT:
Springfield: Peter Pollard, SNAP Springfield Director, 413-335-9969 cell, peterpoll@aol.com
Springfield: Bill Nash, SNAP spokesperson, 413-219-4312, etipottery@verizon.net
Boston: Terry McKiernan BishopAccountability.org President and Founder 508-479-9304

Fall River: Anne Barrett Doyle, BishopAccountability.org Co-Director 781-439-5208

Worcester: Suzy Nauman, BishopAccountability.org Researcher 781-266-6353

Overall: David Clohessy, Executive Director 314-566-9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com
Barbara Blaine, SNAP President 312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com


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