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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Release
Clergy sex victims appeal to 24 new Catholic officials
And they unveil country-by-country estimates of pedophile priests
Based largely on US data, they say Europe has had 8,000-21,000 predators
Group wants just-promoted Cardinals to each reveal even 1 child molesting cleric
They will also beg the newly-appointed 24 Catholic Cardinals now in Rome to each
The first is a 2003 self-survey of American bishops compiled by researchers at John Jay College in New York. It found that approximately 4% of US priests over a 50 year period had been accused of molesting kids. More recently updated through 2009, the survey shows that 5,768 of the 109,694 US priests active since 1950 have been accused. That is 5.3%.
The second is a group of US dioceses which were, over the past eight years, investigated, to one degree or another, by law enforcement agencies or grand juries. Not surprisingly, many more pedophile priests were reported in these dioceses. With the percentage of their priests who were accused in parenthesis, they include Manchester NH (8.9%,) Covington KY (9.6%), Providence RI (10%), and Philadelphia PA (7.7%). Similar percentages have been found in Belleville IL and Portland OR. Prominent US author, researcher, expert witness and former priest A. W. Richard Sipe of LaJolla CA estimates that 6-9% of U.S. priests have offended against children.
SNAP believes that evidence strongly suggests that the percentage of child molesting clerics is roughly the same in nations across the world. (There is, for example, little variation in the rates of self-reported abuse in US dioceses.)
While it’s tempting, SNAP says, to assume that cultural, demographic or ideological differences might impact the number or percentage of pedophile priests in various nations, there’s no data to back up such assumptions.
The organization wants to see all bishops across the globe work harder to protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded (irrespective of what steps Vatican officials may or may not take). But it is especially publicly urging the newly installed 24 new Cardinals from across the globe to go “above the bare minimum” on child safety. Specifically, SNAP wants each of them, in the weeks ahead, to at least disclose the name of one proven or admitted child molesting cleric, in the hopes of protecting kids and prodding their colleagues to make similar revelations.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 22 years and have more than 10,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests