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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Abuse victims prod three bishops & non-profit agency

They appeal to new Indy prelate for help with Irish predator

Group has heard from a second and third victim of pedophile priest

Outreach to others about predator is “more crucial than ever,” SNAP says

It’s critical, victims believe, because of revelations yesterday of more Vatican secrecy

Self help organization believes more likely "saw, suspected or suffered" cleric's crimes

WHAT:
At a sidewalk news conference, two or three clergy sex abuse victims will
-- denounce Vatican officials for ordering Irish bishops to conceal child sex crimes from police,
-- beg Catholic bishops in Indiana and Michigan to seek out others hurt by an Irish predator priest who worked in both states, and
-- announce they’re writing to the cleric’s most recent employer, a Michigan agency, urging them to do outreach.

They will disclose and discuss
--a new civil lawsuit against the pedophile priest filed last week,
--another accuser who reports being molested,
--a newly-disclosed 1997 Vatican letter ordering Irish bishops to hide child sex crimes from police.

WHEN:
TODAY, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2:15 p.m.

WHERE:
Outside the South Bend Chancery Office, 114 West Wayne Street in South Bend IN

WHO:
Two or three adults who were molested by priests and belong to a self help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org). One is SNAP's founder and president.

VISUAL:
They will hold a sign, childhood photos and a picture of the accused predator priest.

WHY:
Last week, for the first time, an Irish Catholic priest who worked in northern Indiana and southern Michigan was sued for child sex abuse. He also faces criminal charges. And yesterday, for the first time, a secret letter from the Vatican to Irish bishops was disclosed. It orders Irish bishops to conceal child sex crimes from police. And last week, a new Catholic bishop was named to help head Indiana’s highest ranking and largest diocese.

In light of these developments, SNAP is renewing its’ plea to current and former church officials and church members, in Indiana and Michigan, to "aggressively reach out" to anyone with information about any misdeeds by Markey. For the first time, the group is writing Indianapolis Archbishop Daniel Buechlein and his new deputy, Bishop Christopher Coyne, urging them to take action about Markey and prod South Bend’s bishop to do likewise.

(Buechlein is considered the “metropolitan” bishop for Indiana, and as such, has some degree of influence over other Indiana bishops.)

SNAP worries that Irish secular authorities won’t be successful in prosecuting Markey. The group’s fears are exacerbated by a newly-disclosed 1997 letter by a top Vatican bureaucrat forbidding Irish prelates from turning over information about known and suspected predator priests to the police. (Even now, 15 years later, Vatican officials refuse to approve the Irish bishops’ plans to report clergy sex crimes to law enforcement, a policy and practice that must make criminal prosecution of Markey and other predator priests much harder, SNAP maintains.)

Months ago, SNAP asked South Bend Bishop Kevin Rhoades to use his diocesan website, diocesan newspaper and dozens of parish bulletins and parish websites to alert parishioners about Markey. SNAP also asked Rhoades to personally visit places where Markey has worked, prodding victims and witnesses to speak up.

All too often, the group says, Catholic hierarchy does "the bare minimum," and responds only to subpoenas, rather than taking the initiative to help law enforcement find victims, witnesses and information that can help build strong criminal cases against predator priests.

According to an Irish newspaper, "Markey, 82, was arrested by US marshals in November at his Indiana home in connection with the alleged rape of a 15-year-old boy in 1968. Markey and his attorneys (fought) the extradition bid since. (He's) accused of raping a 15-year-old boy twice, including the day of the boy's father's funeral."

Until 2009, Markey worked at Community Healing Center in Niles, Michigan, according to Sally Reimes, the center’s chief executive officer. News accounts indicate that Markey worked as a drug and addiction counselor there, with clients including young people.

SNAP believes that the agency, like the church, has a moral and civic duty to try and notify others who might have been hurt by Markey. SNAP is also writing Kalamazoo Bishop Paul Bradley (269 349 8714 ext. 122, officeofthebishop@dioceseofkalamazoo.org ) seeking his help. (The center is in the Kalamazoo diocese.)

Markey's lawyers include Robert Truitt of South Bend. Assistant US attorney Kenneth Hays has been prosecuting the case.

The civil attorney who represents Markey’s victim is Patrick Noaker of Minnesota (a northern Indiana native). He is at 651 227 9990, 612 961 1307 cell, patrick@andersonadvocates.com.

http://andersonadvocates.com/Files/248/Fr-Francis-Markey--Complaint-For-The-Arrest-Warrant-For-International-Extraditionpdf.aspx

CONTACT
Barbara Blaine 312 399 4747 Therese Albrecht708 263 3050, David Clohessy314 566 9790, snapclohessy@aol.com


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