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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Clergy sex victims protest at Cathedral

They’re upset at 2 newly-released Vatican documents

Both tell bishops to hide clergy sex crimes from law enforcement

NYC archbishop “continues this reckless secrecy today,” group says

SNAP to Dolan: “Do no more Irish trips, release names of NY predators first”

WHAT
As Catholics leave mass, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will hand out fliers to passersby. The leaflets urge church-goers to parishioners to call New York City’s archbishop and tell him to
--strongly denounce top Vatican officials and bishops who tell their underlings to conceal clergy sex crimes,
-- post on the NY archdiocese website the names of all proven, admitted and credibly accused predator priests, &
--postpone any more trips to advise Irish bishops on abuse until he takes “tangible steps” to better protect New York area kids by disclosing the identities and whereabouts of potentially dangerous local clerics and ex-clerics.

WHEN
Sunday, Jan. 23 at 11:00 a.m.

WHERE
Outside St. Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral, 5th Ave. (between 50th and 51st St.) in Manhattan

WHO
8-12 members of support group called SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, (SNAPnetwork.org) and some concerned lay Catholics

WHY
Twice this week, long-secret Vatican letters have surfaced telling bishops to hide information about priests’ misdeeds from criminal and civil authorities. The documents contradict long-standing Vatican claims that top church officials don’t order bishops to be secretive about child molesting clerics.

A 1997 letter tells Irish bishops that the Vatican has “serious reservations” about making it mandatory for bishops to report known and suspected child sex crimes to law enforcement. And 1984 letter tells a US bishop that "the files of a bishop concerning his priests are altogether private (and) that no priest's files will be sent to any lawyer or judge whatever.” Both are signed by high-ranking Vatican officials and were never disclosed publicly until this week. Both are posted at BishopAccountability.org (and copies will be available at today’s event).

The 1997 letter is signed by the pope’s official representative to Ireland, Apostolic Nuncio Luciano Storero. The 1984 letter is signed by Cardinal Silvio Angelo Pio Oddi of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy and one-time head of the Roman Curia.

Even now, despite Pope Benedict’s apologies and promises, “current Vatican policy, updated last year, offers merely a nonbinding advisory — not a firm mandate — that diocesan officials should report crimes to police” (according to the New York Times). SNAP wants Dolan, as head of America’s bishops, to insist that the Vatican do this.

Dolan is on a panel traveling to Ireland to advise bishops there about clergy sex crimes. SNAP wants Dolan to postpone future travel and do what 24 other bishops have done, and post on his website, for the sake of public safety, the names, whereabouts and priestly status of child molesting clerics who are or have been in NYC.

(According to a Boston-based independent research group called BishopAccoutnabilty.org, there are 58 publicly accused NY archdiocesan child molesting clerics. The actual number of NYC area pedophile priests is likely much higher because researchers list only those clerics against whom allegations have been lodged in the public domain – in news accounts, criminal prosecution and civil lawsuits - which are extremely rare in NY because of the state’s restrictive, archaic, predator-friendly statute of limitations.)

http://bishop-accountability.org/member/psearch.jsp

In 2002, Baltimore became the first US diocese to disclose names. A good current example is the Philadelphia archdiocese: http://archphila.org/protection/Updates/update_main.htm. Here is a list of all the dioceses that have disclosed names: http://www.bishop-accountability.org/AtAGlance/lists.htm

CONTACT - Mary Caplan 917 439 4187, Mcaplan682@aol.com, David Clohessy 315 566 9790 SNAPclohessy@aol.com


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