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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bishop says 100 cases in 10 yrs for Italy priest abuse; SNAP responds

Statement by Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director, 414 429 7259

Regardless of what secular law requires, it’s tragic and telling that most Catholic officials still insist on keeping clergy sex crimes secret and many still insist on shunning law enforcement.

How can any reasonable adult claim that calling the police about possible child felonies is a bad idea? How can self-described ‘spiritual leaders’ stay silent when their highly-placed peers repeatedly make such callous and dangerous claims? When will Pope Benedict go beyond ‘lip service’ and make it crystal clear, and truly mandatory, that church employees must call law enforcement, and harshly punish those who don’t call law enforcement?

We seriously doubt that this figure, 100 cases, is correct. For decades, Catholic officials have underestimated and underreported the shocking extent of clergy sex crimes. We believe most of them still do.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world's 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 globe. 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)

Contacts: David Clohessy (314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915 home), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Mark Serrano (703-727-4940), Peter Isely (414-429-7259)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/25/AR2010052501804.html

Bishop: 100 cases in 10 yrs for Italy priest abuse

The Associated Press - Tuesday, May 25, 2010; 9:48 AM

ROME -- An Italian bishop says there have been about 100 cases of clerical sex abuse over the past 10 years in Italy that warranted church trials or other canonical procedures.

The ANSA and Apcom news agencies say Monsignor Mariano Crociata, the No. 2 official in the Italian bishops' conference, gave the estimate during a news conference on the sidelines of the bishops' general assembly.

He declined to say how many of the cases resulted in condemnation of the priest. And he insisted that Italian law doesn't require bishops to report suspected abuse to police. Some defense lawyers say bishops are required to report since they are public officials.

Vatican norms say bishops should follow civil laws in reporting abuse to law enforcement.


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