The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Prosecutors investigating Germany's top cleric; SNAP responds
Statement by Barbara Blaine, president and founder of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747)
We applaud Prosecutor Maier for opening the investigation of Archbishop Zollitsch. We hope the probe will include all sex crimes and cover-up and that the prosecutor's office will be thorough and creative.
At the same time we hope Zollitsch will order all employees and parishioners to cooperate fully with the investigation and make it clear to them that it is both their Christian and civic duty to report any information they have. We also urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups to report the information immediately to Prosecutor Maier.
For decades, church officials have acted recklessly, callously and deceptively causing untold numbers of children to be abused. Now the truth of any wrongdoing in the Archdiocese of Freiburg should be exposed.
(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), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003)
Prosecutors investigating Germany's top cleric
BERLIN — German prosecutors say they are investigating allegations that the country's top Roman Catholic cleric was responsible for hiring a priest known to have sexually abused minors.
Prosecutor Wolfgang Maier said the investigation of Freiburg Archbishop Robert Zollitsch is based solely on a complaint by an abuse victim and the allegations haven't yet been scrutinized.
Zollitsch also heads the German Bishops Conference. Spokesman Robert Eberle rejected as baseless the allegation that he was an accessory to abuse of minors by omission.
The complaint alleges that in 1987 Zollitsch — then in charge of human resources at the Freiburg diocese — was responsible for hiring a priest known to have sexually abused minors. The archdiocese rejected the claim.
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Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests