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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Victims to leaflet special mass

They want predators’ names listed

Group opposes “symbolic gestures”

SNAP: “Bishop’s first job is to protect the vulnerable”

Once that’s done, victims say, then “pray for the wounded”

And SNAP wants child molesting clerics housed and supervised

What:
Holding signs and childhood pictures, clergy sex abuse survivors will hand out fliers to mass-goers at a special event to pray for those who’ve been molested. The leaflets blast Phoenix’ Catholic bishop for “putting symbolism over substance” and not doing enough to expose predators and safeguard kids.

Victims will also urge local church officials, for the sake of children’s safety, to
-- post on church website the names of all child molesting clerics, and
-- house, in a secure, remote and professionally run center, all diocesan predator priests.

Where:
In front of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, 2312 E Campbell Avenue ( corner of Campbell and 23rd) in Phoenix

When:
Tuesday, March 8, 6:30 pm

Who:
Two-four victims of sexual abuse and their supporters who are members of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests - SNAPnetwork.org - the nation's largest and oldest support group for men and women abused in religious organizations)

Why:
SNAP opposes what it considers, at best, meaningless gestures that won’t protect a single vulnerable child (and at worst, are a distraction from the crucial task of safeguarding kids who are at risk of abuse now). Events like this, the group feels, are masterfully orchestrated to leave participating adults feeling good in the short term but produce no real results or reform in the long term.

Such events, SNAP feels, are at least in part designed to convey the impression that the church’s devastating child sex abuse and cover up crisis is over and all that remains is expressing regret and making amends with wounded adults. Nothing could be further from the truth. (As the recent Philadelphia grand jury report makes clear, predator priests are still on the job today there and, we strongly suspect, elsewhere.)

SNAP is urging Phoenix Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted 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 diocese.

SNAP is also asking Olmsted to house predator priests in secure, remote and independently run treatment centers so they’ll get counseling and be kept away from vulnerable children. (Just yesterday, an exclusive AP report found that in California alone, some 50 suspended predator priests live essentially unsupervised among unsuspecting neighbors.)

According to a Boston-based independent research group called BishopAccountabilty.org, there are 26 publicly accused Phoenix diocesan child molesting clerics. SNAP notes that the actual number of Trenton 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 (but partial) 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:
Joseph Baca of Chandler, sixtoejoseph@msn.com, 480-692-1958
David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP Director, (314) 566-9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com
Barb Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP Outreach Director, (314) 503-0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com


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