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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Abuse claims at top Catholic school; SNAP responds

Statement by Barbara Blaine SNAP President 312 399 4747

We admire these brave men for stepping forward and exposing wrong doing. We especially applaud their wisdom in reporting to police. It's tempting, but dangerous, for victims to contact church officials, and much better to contact secular officials

It's hard for any abuse victim to speak up, but especially hard for those victimized in a Catholic school setting, in which many fear their confidentiality might be compromised. But such courage is required if kids are to be kept safe.

We hope others are inspired by their responsible action and will likewise come forward, call police, protect others and start healing.

(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. 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), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell)

Abuse claims at top Catholic school

(AFP)

LONDON — Police said Wednesday they were investigating allegations of child abuse made by two former pupils at one of Britain's most prestigious Roman Catholic schools.

London's Metropolitan Police said two men in their forties had made allegations against teachers and staff at St Benedict's School in Ealing, west London, which is attached to a Benedictine monastery.

Chris Patten, the former governor of Hong Kong who is the government's co-ordinator for the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Britain next month, is a former pupil of the school.

One of the men made allegations against an 80-year-old man, who is being investigated but has not been arrested.

Police said two men, aged 68 and 71, had been arrested in connection with allegations made by the second former pupil. They have been released on police bail while the investigation continues.

The two former pupils contacted police in June 2010 following articles in The Times newspaper relating to other abuse cases.

One of the men named in the new allegations is Father David Pearce, a 68-year-old monk and former teacher, who is serving a five-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to abusing eight pupils between 1972 and 2008, The Times reported on Wednesday.

The Roman Catholic Church has been rocked by allegations of child abuse by priests which have spread across Europe from Ireland to the United States and South America.

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.


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