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SNAP
Statement



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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Statement by Rich Cerick of New Canaan CT, SNAP member

We belong to a self help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. Our mission is to protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded.

We’re here because of two Catholic officials – Tim Dolan and Ed Egan.

There’s considerable attention on what Egan has done. There should also be considerable attention on what Dolan has done.

DOLAN
Dolan’s been here for more than six months. Let’s mention just two dramatic shortcomings in his record on clergy sex crimes and cover ups.
-- He has refused to take the most effective, simple, proven and inexpensive step possible to protect kids: posting on the archdiocesan website the names, photos and whereabouts of all proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics. (Almost 20 bishops have done this, almost always under considerable public pressure. Dolan did it in Wisconsin. He should do it here.)
-- He let his staff release yesterday a deceptive, callous and hurtful defense of Egan’s horrific track record concealing clergy sex crimes, claiming that Egan “aggressively investigated” abuse reports. This insensitive move rubs salt into the already deep wounds of Catholics and victims. It also encourages future recklessness and deceit, by showing church staffers “even if you’re exposed as protecting pedophiles, we’ll keep backing you up.”

Dolan could have stayed silent. He could have appealed to victims, witnesses, and whistleblowers to call police. He could have prodded lawmakers to reform archaic, predator-friendly child sex abuse laws. Instead, he chose to defend the indefensible.

Dolan, in our view, is shaping up to be Ed Egan with a smile and a hug.

EGAN
The records yesterday speak for themselves. They clearly show that time and time again, Egan protected predators, not children. He shows no sign of remorse or reform. And if Egan hid crimes in Connecticut, he surely hid crimes in New York. This isn’t speculation. Starting in 2004, he and his staff here ignored my plea to warn families about the priest who molested me.

We hope every Catholic, here and in Bridgeport, carefully reads these damning documents.

WHAT NEXT?
We urge New York legislators to reform the state’s irresponsible, restrictive limits that prevent victims from exposing child molesters in court.

And we beg anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups to call police, expose predators, protect others, get help, and start recovering. We especially appeal to the consciences of current and former church employees – here and in Bridgeport – to ‘come clean’ with what they know so that others may be spared the suffering that we endured and are enduring.

(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 21 years 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 -- Rich Cerick of New Canaan CT, SNAP member 646 363 9847 cell, David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP national director 314 566 9790 cell,
Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP outreach director 314 503 0003 cell
Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP president 312 399 4747


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


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