INTL- Authorities must arrest ex-archbishop now; SNAP says

For immediate release: Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003,

Vatican officials have acted irresponsibly in the case of ex-archbishop Jozef Wesolowski and continue to dissemble about his case even now.

If, as Vatican officials now claim, Wesolowski has been stripped of his alleged diplomatic immunity, why didn't they announce this the minute it happened? Why won't they disclose his whereabouts?

It's irresponsible for church authorities to:

– tell no one when an archbishop faces credible abuse allegations,

– secretly whisk him abroad,

– refuse to turn him over to secular authorities,
– let him walk freely in the literal and figurative center of Catholicism,

– defrock him so they can then claim to be powerless over him, and

– then claim they'll do their own criminal trial against him.

Papal spokesman Fr. Frederico Lombardi claims they have “moved without delay and correctly.” He's half right. Catholic officials were prompt, not in protecting kids or calling police, but in helping a credibly accused child molesting cleric evade justice. If Vatican officials were acting forthrightly in this case, why did they keep child sex abuse allegations against the archbishop secret? 

It's disappointing to see Lombardi being as deceptive under Francis as he was under Benedict.

We urge law enforcement officials in Poland and the Dominican Republic to move quickly to arrest Wesolowski. Our fear is that he'll “disappear” before police can nab him. And we urge Vatican officials to do everything in their power to help secular authorities apprehend him before he flees.

(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 25 years and have more than 20,000 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 

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, [email protected]), Joelle Casteix (949-322-7434, [email protected])

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