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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Victims to leaflet outside Catholic mass

Group urges bishop to “come clean” about child molesting clerics

SNAP also wants him to post names of predator priests on church websites

WHAT:
As Catholic parishioners enter mass, clergy sex abuse victims will hand out fliers listing 22 credibly accused Allentown area Catholic priests. The leaflets also urge church-goers to prod their bishop to:
-- disclose and suspend any other credibly accused child molesting clerics, and
-- permanently list all the proven, admitted and credibly accused predator priests on church websites (like the Philadelphia archdiocese does).

They will also urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or misdeeds to come forward, get help, call police, expose wrongdoers, protect kids and start healing.

WHEN:
Saturday, March 5, at 3:45 p.m.

WHERE:
Outside the Cathedral Church of St. Catharine of Siena, 200 Block of North 18th Street in Allentown, PA

WHO:
Five to seven members of a victims’ self-help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a Chicago woman who is the organization’s founder and long time president

WHY:
A recent Philadelphia grand jury report concluded that now-retired Allentown Bishop Edward Cullen helped protect a priest, Fr. Edward Avery, who went on to later rape a 10-year-old boy by helping to deceive parishioners with the ruse Avery was leaving his post for health reasons.

Cullen was also mentioned in a 2005 Philadelphia grand jury report there. According to one news account, Cullen was involved in “episodes of bureaucratic blindness and inexplicable leniency as a top administrator in the Philadelphia Archdiocese.”

SNAP strongly suspects that Cullen, during his 12 years heading the Allentown Diocese, used similar tactics to conceal predator priests here. The group is calling on Cullen’s successor, Bishop John Barres, to “come clean” and disclose any other credible allegations of sexual misconduct by diocesan staff, no matter when they happened.

SNAP also wants Barres 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 Allentown diocese.

According to a Boston-based independent research group called BishopAccountabilty.org, there are 22 publicly accused Allentown diocesan child molesting clerics. SNAP notes that the actual number of Allentown area pedophile priests is likely much higher because BishopAccountability.org lists only those clerics against whom allegations have been lodged 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

(On Saturday, Mass at the Cathedral starts at 4:15 pm.)

CONTACT - Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com), Karen Poliser 267 992 9463, Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com), David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)


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