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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Tuesday, March 29, 2011

SNAP statement on newly-disclosed THIRD Philly grand jury report on clergy sex cover-ups

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

Even more warnings and even earlier warnings by even more people. . .that’s what this newly-discovered and newly-released grand jury report shows.

It also exposes, more clearly than ever before, the incestuous and self-serving collusion between Catholic therapists, Catholic treatment centers and the Philly Catholic hierarchy. It’s now painfully obvious that Catholic mental health professionals knew they’d keep getting paid if they kept giving the advice that Catholic officials were truly seeking – recommendations that proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics should and could quietly be put back around kids. Shame on each and every church official and lay therapist who perpetuated and profited from this inexcusably dangerous but mutually beneficial scheme.

Consider what it says about archdiocesan priorities and motives and practices.

Regarding archdiocesan priorities, the jurors found that “the protection of the church from ‘scandal’ (was) more important that the protection of children from predators” (p. 3) and that “Cardinal Bevilacqua’s true priority was the avoidance of scandal” (p. 14).

Regarding archdiocesan motives, the jurors found that church officials “gave little or no weight to the protection of children” (p.10)

Regarding archdiocesan practices, the jurors found that church officials “knowingly transferred priest who had been credibly accused of molesting children to new assignments there they retained access to and control over children” (p. 2)

Regarding criminal prosecution, the jurors found that,” in nearly all cases,” the archdiocese did not report (known or suspected abuse) to law enforcement officials.” (p. 3)

Regarding the impact of all of this recklessness, callousness and deceit, the jurors found that “The human toll of the archdiocesan practices is staggering” and “Countless children would have been spared the nightmare of priest sexual molestation.”

We call on Cardinal Rigali - and his colleagues and his successors – to never again send an accused child molesting cleric to a Catholic therapist or Catholic institution, but to use “the best and the brightest” in the field of sexual dysfunction assessment and treatment, professionals whose genuine commitment is to preventing, not hiding, child sex crimes and helping, not enabling, child sex offenders.

(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 23 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)


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