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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

SNAP wants investigation into military chaplains

Sex abuse victims blast Archbishop re chaplaincy program

More than 100 perpetrator priests sent to work on US military bases

Catholic officials knowingly put families at risk, self help group says

Many clerics abused before & during their time with military families

SNAP writes Congress, Senate, & armed services leaders seeking immediate action

WHAT:
At a press conference, holding signs and photos of themselves at the age they were abused, victims of clergy sex abuse and their supporters will:
-- Unveil a new, detailed, on-line list of roughly 100 Catholic clerics who abused kids before, during or after being military chaplains,
-- Show copies of a letter sent to military brass, the Senate and Congressional Armed Services Committees and chaplain organizations seeking an investigation,
-- Reveal the current Baltimore archbishop's role in covering up abuse on military bases, firing whistleblowers, and putting the families of servicemen and women at risk (when he headed the military archdiocese).

They will also:
-- Urge Baltimore’s archbishop to come clean about his role dumping & hiding predator priests in the military, and
-- Beg any serviceman or woman who was abused (or whose kids were abused) by military chaplains to come forward, report and seek help.

WHEN:
Thursday, March 24th, 1:00 p.m.

WHERE:
Outside the Baltimore Archdiocesan Headquarters, 320 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

WHO:
5-6 men and women who were sexually abused and their supporters, all of whom are members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPNetwork.org), They will be joined by a retired Navy Chaplain whistleblower and a survivor of abuse by a military chaplain.

WHY:
Today, for the first time ever, SNAP and Bishop-Accountability.org are unveiling a list of around 100 admitted, convicted, alleged or sued clerics who were military chaplains before, during or after they sexually abused kids and/or vulnerable adults.

The list - compiled from public records, court documents, church files and military reports - includes photos, comprehensive assignment histories, allegations and links to supporting documentation. It is available at http://www.bishop-accountability.org/Military_Chaplains/ after 10 a.m. eastern time.

Because of the danger that these predators posed to members of the military and their families, SNAP is writing a leaders of all four branches of the military, the Pentagon, and members of congressional and senate committees who oversee the armed services. The group is seeking an investigation, including congressional hearings, to learn how frequently and why Catholic officials dumped predator priests on military bases and how to best find and help victims of these predators

SNAP is also demanding that Baltimore Archbishop Edwin O'Brien, the former head of the Catholic military chaplaincy, explain why these predators were allowed into the armed forces, why their crimes were kept secret and why whistleblowers who reported abuse were punished.

The group hopes that the military and/or Congress will take action against O'Brien and others who covered-up sexual abuse in the armed forces.

A copy of SNAP’s letter to political & military officials will be posted around 10 a.m. eastern at SNAPnetwork.org

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news3/2002_04_26_Kelley_CatholicChaplains_Military_Chaplains.htm

CONTACT:
Frank Dingle SNAP Maryland, 410-744-2398, 443-996-8994 cell; Terrence McKiernan of Bishop-accountability.org, 508-479-9304; Joelle Casteix 949-322 7434 jcasteix@gmail.com, David Lorenz 301-262-6517 (home), 301-906-9161 (cell); David Clohessy 314-566-9790 SNAPclohessy@aol.com


Leadership of the Armed Forces
US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps
Leadership of the US MIlitary
Pentagon
Leadership of the Congressional and Senate Armed Forced Committees
US Capitol
Leadership of Chaplaincy Organizations
Leadership of the Veteran's Administration
Washington, D.C.

Dear Sirs and Mesdames:

We are members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. We are men and women who were sexually abused as children by clerics, employees and volunteers in religious organizations.

We are writing today to tell you the results of a list we are unveiling today (along with a Boston-based research group called BishopAccountability.org) that shows that roughly 100 Catholic priest/chaplains are proven, admitted or credibly accused abuser before, during or after their time in the military.

Our research also shows that Catholic officials
-- knowingly dumping predator clergy in all branches of the military and the VA to help the priests escape allegations,
-- deliberately hid the criminal past of predator priests from the military,
-- put our fighting forces and their children at risk of abuse, and
-- punished whistleblowers who saw, suspected and reported abuse.

The list of publicly accused predator priests may be found at www.bishop-accountability.org/ The list is far from comprehensive – because many Catholic officials continue to hide predator priests and keep their crimes secret, and archaic, predator-friendly laws make it hard for victims to expose child molesters in court. But the list includes assignment histories, links to public documents, including police reports, court documents and secret church personnel files, and photos.

We know that you find these crimes and cover ups as upsetting and disturbing as we do. The men and women of the US armed forces give their lives for the country. Their families make huge sacrifices for the safety of our nation. And now, we learn that these many brave men and women were being put at risk by the very clerics who were supposed to care about and protect them.

That is why we are asking that you:
-- Completely review the list of names,
-- Launch an investigation into how and why predator clerics were hidden or dumped into the military,
-- Reach out to all current and former soldiers and their families who may have been abused and encourage them to get help,
-- Conduct public hearings where the men responsible for abuse are required to testify about their role in abuse and cover up under oath, and
-- Punish wrong-doers to the fullest extent of military and criminal law.

Our soldiers and their families have sacrificed enough for their country. Neither they nor their families need the additional burdens of sexual betrayal as well.

We look forward to your response.

Frank Dingle
SNAP Maryland
410-744-2398, CP 443-996-9004

Joelle Casteix
SNAP Western Regional Director
(949) 322-7434
jcasteix@gmail.com

David Clohessy
SNAP National Director
(314) 566-9790
snapclohessy@aol.com


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