Victims leaflet outside cathedral
They urge church members & staff to report suspicions
Group blasts Pope Francis for refusing to protect children
Catholic officials should encourage reporting to police
Holding signs and childhood photos, clergy sex abuse victims will hand out fliers to passers-by encouraging anyone with information about sexual misconduct with children report and blasting Pope Francis and Catholic officials for refusing to protect children.
They will also urge church officials to “actively seek out” anyone who “saw, suspected or suffered” clergy sex or cover ups and beg them to call police and prosecutors so that kids might be safer.
Tuesday, 14 January, 12:00 – 13:00
On the sidewalk in front of Basilique Notre-Dame de Genève, Rue Argand 3, 1201 Genève
Three-four members of a support group for clergy sex abuse victims called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, including a Chicago woman who is the organization’s President
For the first time ever a committee of the United Nations is calling Vatican officials to give an accounting about its own record on children’s rights, in particular the widespread and systemic rape and sexual violence against children. This historic meeting takes place here in Geneva while a culture of secrecy pervades the church across the globe.
Victims who want to ensure that others do not suffer as they did will pass out fliers prodding catholics, employees and former employees who have witnessed, experienced or suspect sex crimes to speak up and report it to police.
In a preliminary report Vatican officials dodged questions by the committee and claimed to be helpless while their own practices and policies provide cover for and enable sexual violence by church employees across the globe. SNAP wants victims and witnesses to report what the Vatican officials keep hidden.
The flier also blasts Pope Francis for refusing to punish bishops who endanger kids and protect predators. Pope Francis has not taken any action to protect children. Francis should be judged on his actions to protect children not his statements about caring for the poor. Suggested benchmarks to judge the new pope include whether he turns over evidence of sex crimes to police and when bishops who protect priest predators are punished and fired.
Barbara Blaine (mobile +1 312 399 4747, Hotel in Geneva HN Rex +41 22 544 74 74 Room 205) firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Caplan (mobile +1 917 439 4187, Hotel in Geneva HN Rex +41 22 544 74 74 Room 302) email@example.com
David Clohessy (mobile +1 314 566 9790, Home in St Louis +1 314 645 5915, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)