Rome--Victims to Vatican: Do outreach in suspected murder & orgy cases

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 8

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, 314 566 9790,,

There’s a common thread in the two pending Italian Catholic scandals – an alleged murder by a priest and alleged orgies by another priest. It’s a common thread in nearly all clergy sex abuse, misconduct and cover up cases: Virtually no Catholic official ever urges his flock to help law enforcement officials.    

Priests who often use their “bully pulpits” to tell parishioners how to act become suddenly silent when crimes are committed or suspected by church staff. That’s irresponsible and hurtful.

This omission speaks volumes. It says “We still want to handle alleged crimes quietly and internally.” It says “Lay people are to stay passive. No matter how egregious the wrongdoing, let us – church officials – deal with this.” It says “Protecting others by helping the justice system is not important.”

We call on Catholic officials in Italy and elsewhere to take aggressive steps to help secular officials solve alleged crimes by church personnel or in church facilities. We urge priests and bishops to show real compassion and courage - by using pulpit announcements, church bulletins, parish websites and other resources - to prod victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to step forward and call police and prosecutors when crimes are committed or suspected in churches.

And we urge everyone – Catholics and non-Catholics – in the Tuscany or Rovigo areas to share what they may know about Fr. Gratien Alabi and the other accused priest with secular authorities.

If innocent children and vulnerable adults are to be safer, inside and outside or churches, parishioners should be aggressively prodded to overcome their fears, break their silence and call law enforcement with even the slightest bit of information they may have about crimes and possible crimes.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 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 +1 314-566-9790,, Barbara Dorris +1 314-503-0003,, Barbara Blaine +1 312-399-4747,  

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