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SNAP Press Release

Ex-Chicago priest may head America’s bishops

Sex abuse victims urge that he be defeated next week

He ignored warning signs & let notorious pedophile be ordained

His recklessness enabled now-convicted predator to molest kids, group says

SNAP: “Promoting Kicanas would send hurtful message to victims & Catholics”

WHAT:
Handing out leaflets as Catholics leave mass, clergy sex abuse victims and their loved ones will publicly urge America’s Catholic bishops to vote against a former Chicago priest who is running for president to head the US bishops group, (as Chicago’s Cardinal George steps down from the post).

They will also blast the cleric (now a bishop) for
---acting “recklessly, deceptively and callously” by letting an obviously sexually troubled seminarian be ordained, and
---refusing, even now, to admit his mistake and/or seek out or help the predator’s victims.

WHEN:
Sunday, November 14, at 10:45 a.m.

WHERE:
Outside Holy Name Cathedral (On State street North of Superior), on Chicago’s near, north side

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)

WHY
Starting Monday, roughly 200 American bishops hold their annual meeting in Baltimore. Among several prelates running to become the new president of the US bishops conference, the expected winner is Tucson Bishop Gerald Kicanas. But clergy sex abuse victims oppose Kicanas’ candidacy and are urging his colleagues to vote against him.

Kicanas is one of several top Chicago church officials who knew about or heard of serious accusations of child sexual abuse or sexual misconduct by Fr. Daniel McCormack. (Kicanas headed the seminary which McCormack attended.) Like several of his colleagues in the Chicago Archdiocese, Kicanas did little or nothing to report these allegations to police, warn parents about McCormack, or protect children from McCormack.

After his ordination, McCormack faced charges of molesting more than 20 boys. At least one boy, prosecutors say, was assaulted by McCormack on a nearly daily basis. McCormack is now behind bars.

SNAP believes that it’s wrong and callous for America’s bishops to promote a prelate with such a disturbing track record on abuse. Such a move will further discourage victims, witnesses and whistleblowers who seek to safeguard kids and expose predators.

Kicanas is now the bishops’ conference vice-president and by custom, the vice president almost always gets chosen for the presidency. There are, however, several other bishops in contention for the post.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/religion/ct-met-cardinal-george-20101113,0,6338649.story

Three years ago, Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George, also severely implicated in the McCormack controversy, was elected to head the bishop’s conference. He’ll step down on Tuesday.

CONTACT
Barbara Blaine 312 399 4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com,
David Clohessy 314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com
Therese Albrecht, 708 263 3050


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