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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Monday, January 17, 2011

Vatican thwarted child sex reports to police, SNAP responds

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, president of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com)

In 1997, top Vatican officials secretly told Irish bishops to keep reports of clergy sex crimes from the police. This is some of the clearest proof of Vatican complicity in concealing devastating crimes from law enforcement.

It’s bad enough that Vatican officials refuse to take any meaningful steps to prevent future child sex crimes and cover ups. It’s worse when Vatican officials block others who are trying to take such steps.

This outrageous revelation will, no doubt, be greeted with yawns by top Catholic officials across the globe. But it’s yet another indisputable reminder that the church hierarchy can’t police itself and resists being policed even by the police.

(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 10,000 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, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, peterisely@yahoo.com), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)

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http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/rome-told-bishops-not-to-report-abuse-142338.html

Rome told bishops not to report abuse

By Lynne Kelleher and Stephen Rogers - Monday, January 17, 2011

A LETTER sent to Irish bishops in 1997 shows that the Vatican secretly blocked attempts to report paedophile priests to gardaí.

In the letter, the bishops are urged not to report clerical abuse as a criminal offence.

A documentary to be aired tonight reveals the contents of the letter and also claims that, on at least two occasions, the Vatican stepped in and stopped attempts by Irish bishops to defrock abuser priests.

Last month, details of one of those occasions was made public when a High Court order finally allowed the full publication of a previously censored chapter in the Murphy Report on the Dublin Archdiocese.

That revealed that when bishops made moves to dismiss paedophile priest Tony Walsh, the Vatican instead sought to send Walsh to serve 10 years in a monastery.

Tonight’s RTÉ programme, Unspeakable Crimes, shows Walsh went on to abuse another child after a Church court recommended that he was laicised because Rome insisted on a long, drawn- out appeal of his case.

In the programme the mother of that child, who didn’t wish to be named, points the finger directly at the Vatican for the abuse of her son.

The programme also reveals how one Irish archbishop, who can’t be named for legal reasons, did threaten to resign because of a case in the 1990s.

The DPP declined to prosecute the priest in question, but the Irish archbishop, through the Church tribunal, recommended that the priest be dismissed from the clerical state.

When the Vatican overturned the decision of the tribunal, the documentary reveals that it is believed the archbishop threatened to resign if the priest was to be reinstated.

Abuse survivor and spokesperson for the Voice of the Faithful organisation Bryan Maguire said the 1997 letter sent to the Irish bishops changes the way he feels about the clerical abuse issue.

He said: "It certainly puts a different complexion on the way in which the Irish bishops acted and points a finger right back to Rome.

"At root what we’ve got is not just abusive priests and bishops that cover up, but an entire system that has enabled and facilitated those bishops and priests.

"What we want is for the Church to take a mirror to itself and not to just push the problem down to a local problem," he added.

This story appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Monday, January 17, 2011

Read more: http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/rome-told-bishops-not-to-report-abuse-142338.html#ixzz1BJbzytv1

Vatican asked Irish bishops not to report clerical abuse to the police

By CATHY HAYES, IrishCentral.com Staff Writer, Monday, January 17, 2011, 8:31 AM

A letter sent by the Vatican to Irish bishops in 1997 shows that they blocked attempts to report pedophile priests to the police. A new documentary reveals the contents of the letter and claims that, on two occasions, the Vatican intervened and stopped attempts made by Irish bishops to defrock pedophile priests.

Bryan Maguire, abuse survivor and spokesperson for the Voice of the Faithful organization said the letter changes the way he feels about the clerical abuse. He said “It certainly puts a different complexion on the way in which the Irish bishops acted and points a finger right back to Rome.

"At root what we’ve got is not just abusive priests and bishops that cover up, but an entire system that has enabled and facilitated those bishops and priests.

"What we want is for the Church to take a mirror to itself and not to just push the problem down to a local problem.”

The documentary which will be aired on Ireland’s national broadcaster, “Unspeakable Crimes”, reveals the details of the cover-ups.

In a High Court cast last month an order was given to publish Chapter 19 of the Murphy Report, which looks at the clerical abuse in the Dublin Archdiocese. This chapter shows that the bishops made moves to dismiss Tony Walsh from the priesthood. However the Vatican instead sought to send him to a monastery for 10 years.

“Unspeakable Crimes” shows that Walsh went on to abuse another child after a Church court recommended that the be laicized. In the documentary the mother of the child who was abused points the finger directly at Rome.

It also shows that an Irish archbishop threatened to resign because of a certain case in the 1990s. The Department of Public Prosecution declined to prosecute the priest and the archbishop recommend he be dismissed from the clergy. He was overruled by the Vatican.

http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Vatican-asked-Irish-bishops-not-to-report-clerical-abuse-to-the-police-113868834.html


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