Rome--Archbishop to be tried in Vatican

For immediate release Monday, June 15

Statement by Barbara Dorris, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, 314-503-0003 [email protected]

Vatican officials claimed that the arrest of Archbishop Josef Wesolowski, the first inside the Vatican related to allegations of sexual abuse, in order to send a strong signal that even high-ranking Church officials would be held accountable. We dispute this claim. We believe that Wesolowski’s case is being handled internally by church figures for public relations reasons – to give the impression of “getting tough” while actually concealing cover ups and minimizing publicity. 

Internally handling child sex crimes, whether by a custodian or cardinal or papal panel, is hardly progress. So we are not encouraged by Francis' decision to rebuff police and prosecutors and to deal with Wesolowski through secretive church processes. Civilized countries usually have independent, experienced and impartial justice systems to handle crimes. That's what must happen with clerics who commit and conceal child sex crimes.    

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has 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 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399- 4747, [email protected])


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