SNAP
Press
Release



BACK TO:


Roster of Press Releases



 

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Victims urge bishops to set up data base of predator priests

They say church must take “real steps” not “symbolic ones,” to help

“That’s the only way kids will be safer,” US self-help organization says

They want to find others hurt by recently jailed child molesting Dublin cleric

WHAT:
Shortly before Pope Benedict arrives in the UK, clergy sex abuse victims, for the sake of public safety, will prod Irish bishops to
--set up an online data base of child molesting clerics, and
--work harder to find help find anyone hurt by child molesting clerics, and

They will also
--criticize the Pope for putting symbolism over substance, and making largely empty gestures instead of taking effective steps to really protect the innocent and heal the wounded, and
--urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes to call police officials (not church officials).

WHEN:
Monday, September 13 at 1:15 p.m.

WHERE:
Outside St. Peter's Cathedral, St. Peter's Square North, Falls Road in Belfast

WHO:
Two-three individuals – a US clergy sex abuse victim who helps lead the world’s oldest and largest clergy victims group called SNAP - the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org) and one or two members of a Catholic reform group called VOTF, the Voice Of The Faithful.

WHY
SNAP will harshly criticize the Pope for what it considers “meaningless words and public relations gestures” on child sex abuse and prod the pontiff to take a “real step” toward protecting children: the establishment of a world-wide data base of proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics (modeled on a private, US-based one called BishopAccountability.org). Such a list would be perhaps the most effective way the Vatican could truly safeguard children, SNAP believes.

Regardless of what the pontiff does, SNAP wants local bishops to do what 24 US bishops have done, and post the names and whereabouts of child molesting clerics who are/have been in Dublin and Belfast.

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

SNAP will also urge church staff to use their “considerable resources” to reach out to anyone with information about alleged child sex crimes and cover ups involving Fr. Eugene Lewis who was recently convicted of sexually abusing three young sisters. Lewis has been sentenced to four years for the eleven charges of assault between 1963 and 1973.

Specifically, victims are asking bishops to use their diocesan and parish websites and bulletins to beg victims and witnesses to contact law enforcement. Each bishop, the victims maintain, has a moral and civic duty to report clergy sex crimes and suspicions immediately to secular authorities AND aggressively seek out others with knowledge of the accusations and urge them to call law enforcement as well.

Lewis was ordained in 1958 and has also worked in Dublin and served on missions overseas.

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2010/0903/1224278127827.html

SNAP believes there are hundreds of child molesting clerics like Lewis who have quietly or secretly been sent to different countries by church supervisors, some of whom are running from the law. In the years ahead, as citizens, Catholics and police become more vigilant about abuse, SNAP predicts even more predator priests will be transferred overseas.

CONTACT
Barbara Blaine (312 399 4747 cell, SNAPblaine@gmail.com, 07587206053), Therese Albrecht 07 570 893 544), Barbara Dorris (314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)


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