PA- Pgh Catholic outreach should be mandatory

For immediate release: Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, [email protected])

Pittsburgh Catholic officials are sending letters to parishes where a just-accused predator priest worked.

We appreciate the courage of victims abused by Fr. John "Jack" Ftzgerald. Their bravery is to be commended. Because they spoke up, more victims who may be suffering in silence and self blame may also find comfort and start healing.

While we are glad Pittsburgh Catholic officials are doing this outreach, diocese staff should demand that the pastors post the letter and read it at mass.  (The diocesan spokesman said each pastor will make this decision. It should be mandatory, not optional. Catholic officials should have started this outreach decades ago and should do it consistently. And they should use diocesan websites and other avenues too.)

We hope every single person who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups in Pittsburgh will come forward, get help, call police, expose wrongdoers and start healing.

(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 15,000 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 314-566-9790  cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 314-503-0003  cell, [email protected])   

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