Press Release



Press Release


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release
Giving Voice to Victims



Sex Abuse Victims Urge Bishops To Keep National Policy

They Want Stronger, Not Weaker, Molestation Guidelines

Group Will Tear Up Copies of "Watered Down" Dallas Charter

SNAP Believes Top Catholic Clerics Are "Backsliding"

As America's Catholic bishops begin to meet, clergy molestation victims will hold a sidewalk news conference urging church officials to toughen, not weaken, their national sex abuse guidelines and blast them for backpedaling on their promises

TODAY, Thursday, June 16, 2:30 p.m

On the bridge across from the Fairmont Hotel, (200 North Columbus) in downtown Chicago (where 300 American Catholic bishops are staying and meeting this week)

Three or four clergy sex abuse victims who are leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a nation-wide support group

The group will physically tear up copies of the bishops' abuse policy, deploring its weakness and sporadic enforcement.

After just three years, an already weak and vague set of national abuse guidelines will be furthered watered down, as bishops this week will likely vote to
- enable themselves to block sex abuse cases using the church's internal statute of limitations,
- make the definition of sexual abuse more vague,
- reduce the role of the National Review Board and
- require that its members be vetted by local bishops.

SNAP is also upset that not a single US bishop is proposing measures to strengthen the so-called Dallas Charter.

Comments in the proposed revision also suggest that in the future, many bishops want to renege on their "one strike and you're out" pledge and appoint clergy to the Review Board, in addition to or instead of Catholic lay people.

Yesterday, SNAP called on bishops to create a nationwide reward fund to encourage people to report suspected sexual misconduct by church employees, and reform their national abuse policy to require "real outreach" not passive public relations, to find and help more victims and enable more criminal prosecution of predators.

Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP President 312 399 4747
David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP National Director 314 566 9790
Peter Isely of Milwaukee, SNAP Midwest Regional Director 414 429 7259
Chuck Linneman of Sugar Grove IL 630 747 6780
Mary Guentner of Milwaukee, SNAP Wisconsin Director 414 418 3191

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests