PA - SNAP applauds priest’s arrest & DA’s news conference

For immediate release: Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013

Statement by Karen Polesir of Philadelphia SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (267-992-9463, [email protected])

Prosecutors in Philadelphia will announce the arrest of a suspected predator priest at a news conference this morning.

“Discrimination!” “We’re being singled out.” “The DA doesn’t call a news conference to announce the arrest of a child molesting Lutheran pastor or Methodist minister.”

Apologists for Archbishop Charles Chaput and others in the corrupt archdiocesan hierarchy will no doubt make these claims.

Those complaints are, of course, disingenuous. For decades, many in the archdiocese have ignored, enabled and covered up child sex crimes. And little in the archdiocesan hierarchy has changed. So prosecutors are doing their duty when they continue to shine a light on that small band of secretive, self-serving individuals who keep putting their reputations and careers and colleagues ahead of the safety of children.

We applaud prosecutors who use their "bully pulpits" to expose individuals who commit and institutions that conceal heinous child sex crimes. That should happen more often. That’s smart law enforcement. That better protects kids.

It's very hard to deter child sex crimes. It's not hard, however, to deter cover ups. It takes two things: prosecuting and exposing those who cover up child sex crimes.

And by preventing cover ups, we prevent future child sex crimes. It’s just that simple.

So let no one distract us today. The “bad guys” aren’t in the DA’s office. The “bad guys” are in the chancery office. According to, there are 133 publicly accused child molesting clerics in the Philadelphia archdiocese. And there’s little reform happening there.

Finally, we applaud every person involved in the investigation and arrest of this priest. Clearly, the victim or the victim’s family has turned to secular authorities for help. We praise them for their courage.

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, [email protected])

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