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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

NY archbishop running to head America’s prelates

Sex abuse victims urge that he be defeated next week

In August, Dolan “quietly & deceptively” let pedophile resign

And instead of ousting predator, Dolan let him “mislead his flock”

At least ten men accuse prominent Harlem cleric of molesting them

Deceit leaves some church members in doubt and kids at risk, group says

SNAP: “Electing and promoting Dolan would send hurtful message to victims & Catholics”

WHAT:
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their loved ones will publicly
-- urge America’s Catholic bishops next week to vote against New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who is running in an election next week to head the US bishops group, and
-- blast Dolan for acting “recklessly, deceptively and callously” by letting a prominent suspended serial predator priest voluntarily and quietly resign after sending a “misleading, self-serving” letter to Harlem parishioners (which makes no mention of the multiple and credible child sex charges against him).

They will also prod Catholics & citizens to
--ask their friends and loved ones if they were ever hurt by this priest or other priests, and
--if so, urge them to call police officials, not church officials.

WHEN:
Friday, November 12 at 1:45 p.m.

WHERE:
Outside the home of the New York City archbishop, southwest corner of Madison & 51st (near St. Pat’s)
in NYC

WHO:
Three-four clergy sex abuse victims who belong to a support group called SNAP - the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a Missouri man who is the organization’s long-time director

WHY
Starting Monday, roughly 200 American bishops hold their annual meeting in Baltimore. New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan is one of several prelates running to become the new president of the US bishops conference. But clergy sex abuse victims oppose Dolan’s candidacy and are urging his colleagues to vote against him.

In late August, Dolan quietly Msgr. Wallace Harris resign as pastor of St. Charles Borromeo parish in Harlem. Dolan made mention no of the multiple and credible child sex abuse allegations against Harris or Harris’ suspension because of the accusations two years before. And Dolan refused to notify the public of his move or Harris’ crimes.

Just days later, SNAP learned of and publicly disclosed Dolan’s maneuver, calling it “reckless, deceptive and hurtful.” SNAP also made public two deceitful letters to the Harlem church-goers. One letter was by Dolan. The other was from Harris. Neither letter mentioned the words “child sex abuse allegation,” much less acknowledged that at least ten men have come forward reporting that Harris sexually assaulted them in the 1970s and 1980s.

Such callousness and deceit, SNAP feels, should disqualify Dolan from heading America’s bishops.

Several of Harris’ victims have reported to police and prosecutors (but the criminal statute of limitations has expired). None have filed civil lawsuits. No church official denies their abuse reports. And based on those reports, Harris was suspended. These facts, SNAP maintains, speak to the credibility and motives of the victims.

Harris was temporarily suspended in 2008 after a former police officer, Eric Crumbley, reported that Harris repeatedly molested him as a child. (pastorcrumbley@aol.com, ecrumbley@aol.com, 516 304 0435)

St. Charles Borromeo is the home parish of New York Governor David Patterson. Harris was the event coordinator for Pope Benedict's Sunday afternoon Mass at Yankee Stadium earlier in 2008.

Copies of the letters from Dolan and Harris are available here:

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/ny_newyork/2010_08_28_Harris_MyDearParishioners.pdf

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/ny_newyork/2010_09_02_Dolan_MyBrothers.pdf

CONTACT
David Clohessy 314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com, Mary Caplan, 917 439 4187, Mcaplan682@aol.com, Barbara Dorris 314 503 0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com


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