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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Clergy sex victims want Pope to discipline Cardinal

He tried to keep his colleague’s child sex crimes a secret

SNAP: “When no bishop is punished for cover ups, nothing changes”

Group also urges church hierarchy to set up data base of predator priests

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

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

WHAT:
Holding signs and childhood photos, clergy sex abuse victims, will hand leaflets to Catholics coming to see the Pope. The fliers urge the pontiff to
--discipline a Belgian Cardinal who was caught on tape trying to silence an abuse victim,
--set up an online data base of child molesting clerics, and
--work harder to find help find anyone hurt by child molesting clerics.

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:
Wednesday, September 15 at 1:00 p.m.

WHERE:
Outside St. Mary's cathedral 61 York Place, Edinburgh Midlothian

WHO:
Four US clergy sex abuse victims who helps lead the world’s oldest and largest clergy victims group called SNAP - the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

WHY
Today, a Vatican spokesman said that Pope Benedict will not discipline a Belgian bishop who admits molesting a boy. But SNAP wants the pontiff to discipline Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels who tried to silence a victim of an admitted predator. As long as top church staff like Danneels never face consequences for concealing clergy sex crimes, SNAP believes such cover ups will continue.

http://www.rnw.nl/english/bulletin/pope-will-not-discipline-belgian-bishop-now

SNAP will also prod the pontiff to take a “real step” toward protecting children: setting up 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 (especially Edinburgh’s Cardinal Keith O’Brien) to do what 24 US bishops have done, and post the names and whereabouts of child molesting clerics who are/have been in Scotland.

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 clergy child sex crimes, instead of passively sitting back and waiting for victims to come forward.

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.

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
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