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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Sex abuse victims blast bishop

They urge Catholic prelate to “reach out”

He should urge anyone hurt by friar to “come forward”

Cleric was arrested last seek but was convicted four years ago

Self help group challenges Venice church officials to take action

And SNAP wants local diocese to post names of predator priests on its websites

WHAT:
Holding signs and children’s photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and advocates will urge Venice’s Catholic bishop to
--aggressively seek out anyone with suspicions or information about a recently arrested child molesting Catholic cleric,
--prod the friar’s direct supervisors to put him in a remote, secure treatment facility (when he makes bail) and
--post on the diocesan website and in his parish bulletins the names of all current and former child molesting clerics in the Venice area.

The group will also beg anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups to call police, get help, expose wrongdoers, protect others and start healing.

WHEN:
Monday, February 7 at 1:00 PM

WHERE:
Outside the Venice Catholic Diocese headquarters, 1000 Pinebrook Rd, Venice, FL 34285

WHO:
2-3 members of support group called SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

VISUALS:
The group will provide a photo of the alleged molester and hold signs and children’s photos.

WHY:
Last week, police arrested William C. Wert. He’s charged with ten counts of child sex crimes. In 2007, he was convicted in Washington, D.C., of assault and put on probation. He was accused there of inappropriately touching a 14-year-old and put on probation.

Wert is believed to have molested other kids in Florida, according to local police.

SNAP wants Venice Bishop Frank J. Dewane to work hard to find and help anyone who may have been hurt by the friar. Specifically, the group is urging him to personally visit churches near the home where Wert was living, and beg those with information or suspicions about Wert to contact police. SNAP is urging Dewane to put notices in every parish bulletin and on every parish website with the same message.

The group also wants the prelate to urge Wert’s direct supervisors, a Catholic religious order known as the Carmelites, to put him in an independent, professionally-run facility for sex offenders.

Finally, SNAP is urging Dewane to 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 the Venice area (whether they worked for the diocese or not, are dead or alive, or are proven, admitted or credibly accused clerics).

According to a Boston-based independent research group called BishopAccoutnabilty.org, there are 10 publicly accused Venice diocesan child molesting clerics. (The actual number of Venice area pedophile priests is likely much higher because BishopAccountability.org lists only those clerics against whom allegations have been lodge in the public domain – in civil lawsuits, criminal prosecution or news accounts.

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

The Diocese of Venice public relations person is Bob Reddy (941-486-4701 office, 941-483-6811 cell, reddy@dioceseofvenice.org)

CONTACT – Judy Jones 314 974 5003, David Clohessy 314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris 314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com


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