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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Victims call for national Catholic church probe

Panel should investigate all US diocesan "victims programs”

DA says system supposed “to help victims instead helps abusers”

SNAP strongly suspects that this “collusion” is happening elsewhere

And Philly Cardinal should fire defense lawyers & two coordinators, group says

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will urge a national Catholic panel to hire independent investigators to see if other US dioceses are violating victims’ confidentiality and using their professed ‘victims assistance’ programs to get information for church defense lawyers.

The victims will also call on Philly’s Catholic hierarchy to
--fire its lawyers and its victims assistance coordinators and
--harshly denounce them for essentially defrauding and deceiving deeply wounded men and women who report child sex crimes.

WHEN
Sunday, Feb.13 at 4:45 p.m.

WHERE
Outside SS Peter & Paul Cathedral, 18th Street & Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia

WHO
4-6 members of a support group for clergy molestation victims called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org) including a Chicago woman who founded the organization

WHY
Last week’s new Philadelphia grand jury report concluded that the city’s archdiocese “continues to engage in practices that mislead victims (and) violate their trust,” and “has betrayed once again” the victims who report to its staffers. In fact, the report says that archdiocesan abuse “procedures implemented to help victims are in fact designed to help the abusers and the Archdiocese itself.”

The so-called “victims assistance coordinators,” grand jurors concluded, “mislead victims,” “hound” victims to “give statements to “use as ammunition to impeach victims,” “do not keep victims’ statements confidential,” “turn over” victims’ statements and records “to archdiocesan attorneys,” and in at least one case, “to the victim’s abuser.” These are immoral, hurtful and diabolical acts, SNAP believes, that must be punished if they are to be stopped.

SNAP believes it’s crucial that clergy sex abuse victims call police. Some victims, however, will always be tempted to call church officials. But because of the wrongdoing by archdiocesan defense lawyers, SNAP fears that more victims will stay silent. So to create a most trusting climate for deeply wounded individuals to disclose crimes, SNAP wants Cardinal Justin Rigali to fire these individuals and publicly condemn their misdeeds.

Finally, SNAP suspects that similar collusion between alleged church “helpers” and church defense lawyers is happening elsewhere. The group is asking the National Review Board, a panel of Catholics charged with overseeing bishops’ handling of abuse cases, to quickly launch an independent investigation into such tactics in Catholic dioceses across the US.

CONTACT - Barbara Blaine (312 399 4747), Dave Lorenz 301 906 9161, David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Karen Polesir (267 992 9463), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)


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