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SNAP
Statement



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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Thursday, February 18, 2010

More Jesuit abuse & cover up allegations surface; SNAP responds

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)

We strongly suspect this is just the tip of a very large and ugly iceberg. We applaud the brave victims who are coming forward and hope their courage inspires others who are suffering to break their silence, report these crimes, expose dangerous predators, and begin to heal.

Jesuits like to posture as somehow allegedly being more forthcoming about clergy sex crimes and cover ups. In our experience, however, that’s just not the case. Sadly, most Jesuit officials are just as reckless and callous and deceitful in these cases as diocesan officials.

It’s an obvious and egregious conflict of interest for a lawyer hired by church officials to pretend to be fair. We urge German victims to seek independent help and call law enforcement, rather than cooperating with a church-controlled lawyer.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 22 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 David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, 314-645-5915 home), Peter Isely (414-429-7259) Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747),


German lawyer: 115 claim sex abuse by Jesuits

By MELISSA EDDY (AP) – 1 hour ago

BERLIN — The number of students who claim they were sexually abused by Jesuit priests at schools across Germany has jumped to 115, a lawyer said Thursday.

Ursula Raue, an attorney appointed by the order to handle the charges, said that since seven alumni of the private Catholic Canisius Kolleg in Berlin first reported abuses in January, the accusations have "taken on a dimension of previously unbelievable proportions," the DAPD news agency reported.

Raue told reporters that victims have identified 12 Jesuit priests by name and accused women in some cases. She also said rapes have been reported.

The sexual abuse charges are the most widespread involving Catholic priests in Germany, the homeland of Pope Benedict XVI.

Most of the cases date back to the 1970s and 1980s, and some as far back as the 1950s. Although very few of them were violent, Raue said the victims still bear the scars.

"These are wounds that never heal," she said.

She said some of the abuse cases were known early on by other teachers and the order, but the accused priests were simply moved to another school.

"In reviewing the files, I have not come across any indication of a concern for the welfare of the children," Raue said, charging the priests took better care of their own than the children entrusted to their care.

Many of the victims are relieved at finally being able to tell their stories, while others are seeking compensation or an apology, she said.

She also urged the Jesuits to appoint an ombudsman for pupils still at the schools involved, and to train teachers there to be alert to signs of sexual abuse in children.

Copyright © 2010


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