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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Clergy sex victims from 5 nations want Pope to rescind appointment

Yesterday, he promoted US bishop who enabled abuse 8 months ago

Just last year, prelate ordained troubled priest who pled guilty last week

Groups announce campaign daring pontiff to "Discipline even one bishop"

“When no supervisor is ever punished for cover ups, cover ups continue,” they say

WHAT:
Holding signs and childhood photos, at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims from five countries will beg Pope Benedict to
--rescind his promotion yesterday of a US bishop who ordained a sexually troubled man last year to the priesthood who just pled guilty last week to molesting a boy this year, and
--discipline,for the first time in church history, even one prelate who ignored or concealed child sex crimes.

Then, they will hand leaflets to Catholics coming to see the Pope. The fliers urge people to
--ask their friends and loved ones if they were ever hurt by a cleric,
--if so, urge them to call police officials, not church officials.

WHEN:
Friday, September 17 at 1:15 p.m.

WHERE:
Outside Westminster Cathedral in London England

WHO:
Clergy sex abuse victims from five nations (Belgium, Australia, England the Netherlands and the US including leaders of world’s oldest and largest clergy victims group called SNAP - the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

WHY
Yesterday, Pope Benedict promoted a US bishop even though he ordained a sexually troubled priest just last year. That priest, caught in in 2009with young-looking male porn, went on to molest a boy and pleaded guilty to the crimes just last week.

It’s the most clear and egregious example, SNAP believes, that corrupt bishops continue to get moved up in the church structure and that little if anything has changed in the way the Catholic hierarchy handles abuse. It’s also proof that the alleged “screening” at seminaries isn’t happening or isn’t effective.

SNAP contends that never in the church history has the Vatican disciplined, demoted or defrocked a bishop for mishandling clergy sex cases. (A handful have voluntarily resigned under pressure, however, for either committing or concealing child sex crimes, most recently in Brussels. A list is available at BishopAccountability.org)

As long as no complicit Catholic official ever loses even one title, one honor, or one day’s pay, SNAP feels that the church’s long-standing, deeply-rooted culture of secrecy surrounding child sex crimes will continue.

The newly-promoted US prelate is Bishop Peter Sartain of the Joliet Illinois diocese who’s taking over the Seattle Washington archdiocese. The child molesting cleric is Fr. Alejandro Flores.

Sartain kept silent in the spring of 2009 when, according to one newspaper, “Prosecutors say (Joliet) Catholic officials had some warning signs about Flores” because “Flores was caught with gay porn on his computer. Though the website posted a disclaimer saying the people involved in the sex acts were not minors. . .Catholic officials were concerned some of the images appeared to be those of young boys.”

Since Sartain was so secretive, SNAP suspects the Vatican may not have been aware of the case and that Pope Benedict should rescind Sartain’s promotion. This is the first time SNAP has ever made such a request.

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2010/09_10/2010_09_08_Vaisvilas_PriestPleas.htm

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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