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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Victims praise outspoken priests

Newly promoted clerics are asked to renounce “honor”

SNAP to monsignors: “Stop seeking status, start protecting kids”

“Be helpful- create whistleblower fund,” self help organization says

A handful of Chicago area pastors are challenging Cardinal George

Group is encouraged by the trend & urges other church employees to “speak up”

WHAT
Holding and handing white balloons, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will hand out fliers to Catholics as they leave mass. The leaflets urge 40 soon-to-be promoted Chicago Catholic priests to
-- reject their new Vatican-approved titles, and
-- focus instead on protecting kids and healing victims.

They will also
-- praise, for the first time, a handful of local priests who are challenging Chicago’s Cardinal,
-- encourage other church employees to similarly speak up for the safety of children, and
-- advocate setting up a “whistleblower fund” to encourage church workers to call police and prosecutors (not the church hierarchy) about known and suspected clergy sex crimes.

WHEN
TODAY, Tuesday, September 7 at 12:30 p.m.

WHERE
Outside the Holy Name Cathedral, 730 N. Wabash Ave. in Chicago

WHO
2-4 members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

WHY
Yesterday’s Chicago Catholic News reported that an increasing number of local Catholic priests are confronting Cardinal Francis George. Most notably, Fr. Thomas McQuaid of Berwyn blasted George over the lack of punishment for top church staff that ignored or concealed the crimes of notorious serial pedophile priest Fr. Daniel McCormack.

http://www.chicagocatholicnews.com/2010/09/cardinal-facing-increasing-unrest-in.html

SNAP agrees with McQuaid that reviving the ‘honorific’ title of ‘monsignor,’ and bestowing it on 40 priests, is far less important than ensuring the safety of thousands of kids in Chicago Catholic churches and schools. It’s especially problematic, SNAP says, because the group has seen no evidence that any of the 40 have gone above the ‘bare minimum’ in dealing with the church’s on-going child sex abuse and cover up crisis.

As an expression of solidarity with victims and a sign of their commitment to children, SNAP is publicly urging all of the honorees to renounce their new title and instead work harder to safeguard kids and heal victims. Specifically, the group is prodding the 40 to set up a ‘whistleblower reward fund’ to help break through a deeply-entrenched culture of silence in the church about abuse and give tangible support to current and former archdiocesan workers who report suspected child sex crimes to police and prosecutors.

The event is being held in conjunction with the 14th annual White Balloon Day in Australia, which focuses public attention on preventing child sexual abuse. (http://www.whiteballoonday.com.au/)

CONTACT
Barbara Blaine 312 399 4747, Barbara Dorris 314 503 0003


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