The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
New grand jury probe of LA archdiocese; Sex abuse victims respond
For immediate release: Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, national president member of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747)
Even the launching of this probe is a vindication and validation for thousands of deeply wounded victims and betrayed Catholics. While dozens of pedophile priests have been criminally convicted, hundreds of complicit church officials have ignored or concealed known or suspected clergy sex crimes and experienced no consequences whatsoever. Morally, that's wrong. Practically, that's reckless.
More than 250 Los Angeles archdiocesan priests are proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesters. Most were repeatedly moved to unsuspecting parishes time and again despite suspicions and reports of their crimes. Some in the hierarchy must be held accountable for the devastation caused by this deceit and callousness.
If employers can enable child molesters and escape punishment, more employers will do just that. Justice must be done so that future wrong-doing is deterred and future sex crimes prevented.
Our biggest worry now is complacency. It's a long way from investigation to conviction, and it's crucial that anyone with information about clergy sex crimes and cover ups comes forward now. We especially appeal to church employees and members - current and former - to search their consciences and find the courage to call law enforcement and share what they know. Even information that may seem old or inconsequential might make a difference, so we beg every person who saw, suspected or suffered clergy misdeeds to contact police and prosecutors immediately.
Some have asked whether victims will be disappointed if church officials end up not facing charges. Our view is that while dashed hopes are sad, no hope at all is even sadder, and that's what thousands of clergy sex abuse victims have felt for decades.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the nations oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. Weve been around for 20 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)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests