The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
Friday, April 18, 2008
Murphy cannot admit that he and his colleagues have engaged in deliberate cover-up
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, national director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915 home)
How utterly tragic that even now, after 5,000+ priests have molested tens or even hundreds of thousands of children, Murphy can't even admit that he and his colleagues have engaged in a decades-old, horrific, deliberate cover up of these devastating child sex crimes.
His remark that 'there may have been some bishops that mishandled' this on-going crisis is perhaps the most distressing public comment uttered by a Catholic official in recent years.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the nation's oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We've been around for 17 years and have more than 8,000 members across the country. Despite the word "priest" in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, 314-645-5915 home), Peter Isely (414-429-7259) Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688), Mary Grant (626-419-2930), Mark Serrano (703-727-4940)
By Bart Jones and John Valenti - firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com --- April 18, 2008
Waiting for the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI at Kennedy Airport on Friday, Bishop William Murphy of the Diocese of Rockville Centre praised the pontiff on his willingness to candidly comment on the sex abuse scandal on his first papal visit to the United States.
Murphy also praised the fact that the pope took time to meet with some of those sex abuse victims earlier this week while in Washington, D.C.
"I was very pleased that he did that," Murphy said. "All of us bishops have been meeting with victims" -- although Murphy, who said he has met with victims since becoming bishop in 2001, added: "That's not something that I announce."
Murphy said he agreed with the pontiff's comments that the bishops handled the sex abuse scandal "very badly."
Coincidentally, the comments from Murphy came on the same day that one Pennsylvania priest is scheduled to be sentenced for his role in a sex abuse case in U.S. District Court in Central Islip.
"That there may have been some bishops that mishandled it, that was done I'm sure without malice," Murphy said.
"But sometimes mistakes are made and we have to acknowledge that.
"The point, however, is that for the last five years the Church in the United States has addressed the problem and I think addressed it with real seriousness. We're very serious about it and I'm very grateful to the pope that he recognized that. He spoke the truth and he also recognized the truth."
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Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests