The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Victims respond to Bridgeport Catholic disclosures
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)
The Bible tells us that the truth will set us free. We believe this long-overdue, hard-won partial truth about devastating cover ups by high ranking Catholic officials will be one step toward freeing deeply wounded victims from on-going pain and vulnerable children from the horror of child sex crimes. We also feel it will help make the church a safer and healthier place.
These records will help make kids safer by
It's laughable to suggest that the ancient, rigid, secretive, all-male hierarchy, which concealed child sex crimes for decades, if not centuries, has suddenly done a complete 180 degree reversal and is now magically open, pro-active and compassionate, especially when not a single corrupt bishop has experienced any consequences for enabling child rape and other felonies.
As awful as Cardinal Egan is, he had and has plenty of accomplices. The church hierarchy's self-serving culture of secrecy is widespread and well-entrenched. He alone didn't hide child sex crimes. His predecessor, successor and staff all helped enable child sex crimes, deceive parishioners, stonewall prosecutors, and endanger children.
It's shameful that Catholic officials are poo-pooing the records and trying to discourage their members from reading them by claiming it's all "old news." If they truly cared about the well-being of their flock, they would encourage parishioners to read these damning documents, instead of discouraging them.
We hope prosecutors will look long and hard at whether any church officials - current or former - can be prosecuted for concealing crimes, shredding evidence, intimidating witnesses or other offenses. All across the US, law enforcement has gotten more aggressive and creative in pursuing child predators and those who shield child predators. We believe that usually, "where there's a will, there's a way." For the sake of public safety, we urge prosecutors to get aggressive, research thoroughly, and try to devise a way to hold at least a few of the complicit church staffers accountable.
We also hope that every single person who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups, in Connecticut and elsewhere, will be inspired to speak up, call police, expose predators, protect kids, get help and start healing.
(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 since 1988 and have more than 9,000 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), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Peter Isely (414-429-7259), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests