Survivors group wants independent investigation into Catholic clergy abuse in Tennessee

Tennessee or federal authorities should investigate allegations of Catholic "pedophile priests" in the state, a leader of a survivors organization said Friday.

Susan Vance, a former nun with Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), also called on Catholic authorities to support abolishing statutes of limitations on child sex abuse crimes. 

Vance held a short news conference Friday in drizzling rain on the sidewalk outside the Roman Catholic Diocese of Knoxville offices on Northshore Drive. A similar news conference was held an hour later in Nashville. 

"We would ask the state attorney general to impanel a grand jury or the district attorneys to ask the State Bureau of Investigation to investigate the church files," Vance said. "An independent investigation is needed, whatever that may be."

Vance said authorities also should investigate what she called the church's systematic moving of accused priests. Some were moved out of Tennessee to assignments in states that included Kentucky and Georgia.

Vance's statements came a we...

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