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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Cardinal plans to exclude dozens of accused clerics from upcoming list

Long-awaited disclosure won’t include at least 75 "order" priests

O’Malley's silence will endanger children and mislead the public, groups say

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims & their supporters will
--- release a list of more than 75 Catholic clerics who have been publicly accused of molesting children but who will NOT appear on the Boston archdiocese’s upcoming list of alleged sex offenders
--- beg Boston Catholic officials, for the sake of public safety, to reconsider their refusal to disclose the names
-- urge O’Malley to publish the names and full assignment histories of accused order priests on church and school websites

WHEN
Thursday, Aug. 4, 1:00 p.m.

WHERE
Outside the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, 1400 Washington Street, Boston

WHO
5-8 victims and leaders of seven organizations active in the Boston area: BishopAccountability.org, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), Boston-area Voice of the Faithful (VOTF), Speak Truth to Power (STTOP), CTA/Boston, the National Survivors Advocates Coalition (NSAC), and Road to Recovery

WHY
As Cardinal Sean O’Malley, after years of promises and delays, is reportedly preparing to disclose a list of accused child-molesting priests, local groups of survivors, advocates, and Catholics are expressing “grave concern” at the cardinal’s plan to exclude the names of alleged abusers from religious orders. This means that some of the archdiocese’s most egregious sex offenders will be missing from the cardinal’s list, the groups say.

To help protect children and inform the public, a Waltham-based research group, BishopAccountability.org, is releasing its own list of more than 75 publicly accused religious-order priests and brothers who have lived and worked in the Boston area. Many have been criminally charged, named in civil lawsuits, or suspended by church authorities because of child sex abuse allegations.

Roughly 30% of US priests are religious order clerics. To work in a diocese, an order priest must obtain permission from the bishop, and, according to canon law, “a bishop can remove an order priest without the superior’s consent (Canon 682).”

O’Malley’s excuse for not naming order priests accused of molestation – his claim that they are “not accountable” to him – is contradicted by “canon law, common decency, and the archdiocese’s implied admission of responsibility in its repeated settlements with victims of religious order priests,” said Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org.

Several of O’Malley’s fellow bishops also disagree with his decision. More than half of the 24 US bishops who have released lists of accused priests have chosen to include religious order priests (e.g., Jesuits, Franciscans, etc) alleged to have molested children. Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson AZ told the New York Times in May 2010 that excluding order priests from the lists “doesn’t seem appropriate … Our goal is to demonstrate to the person harmed that the church understood their pain and the harm that had been done to them, and to get as many victims as possible to come forward."

O'Malley's intention to exclude religious order priests from his list was revealed in Minutes of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council (see page 3):

http://www.bostoncatholic.org/uploadedFiles/BostonCatholicorg/Offices_And_Services/Offices/Sub_Pages/Archdiocesan_Pastoral_Council/2010_apc_minutes_031110.pdf

Omitting religious order clerics is “self-serving hairsplitting,” victims and advocates say. O’Malley, they maintain, is responsible for the safety of all his flock, and should disclose clerics regardless of which Catholic entity signs their paychecks.

Two MA residents who can speak from personal experience about why O'Malley should disclose religious-order abusers are John Vellante and Bill Nash. Both were sexually abused by religious order priests who worked in the Boston archdiocese. John Vellante can be reached at 978-618-3047. Bill Nash can be reached at 413-219-4312.

CONTACT
BishopAccountability.org: Anne Barrett Doyle, 781-439-5208, and Terry McKiernan, 508-479-9304
SNAP (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests): David Clohessy, 314-566-9790 and Phil Saviano, 781-686-3886 National Survivors Advocates Coalition: Paul Kellen, 781-526-5878
STTOP (Speak Truth To Power): Ruth Moore, 781-264-6519
CTA/Boston: Stan and Eileen Doherty, 781-385-9652 cell
Road to Recovery: Bob Hoatson, 862-368-2800 cell


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