Press Release



Press Release


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release
Giving Voice to Victims


Thursday, October 20, 2005


Sex Abuse Victims Want Philadelphia Cardinal To Back Legislative Reform

Group Also Urges Rigali To Impose Consequences On "Abuse Enablers"

They Ask That Archdiocesan Second-in-Command Be Disciplined

Victims Upset That Those Who Covered Up Sex Crimes Are Still In Power

"Lead by Action, Not Words," SNAP Says To Catholic Church Officials

Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will publicly urge Philly Catholic officials to

-- endorse and lobby for a one-year "window" that would enable sex crimes victims to bring lawsuits and use the justice system to protect children and expose child molesters, and

-- publicly discipline church employees (including his second-in-command) who have covered up clergy sex crimes against children.

Then they will try to hand-deliver a letter to Cardinal Justin Rigali prodding him to take these steps

Thursday, Oct. 20, 1:30 p.m.

On the sidewalk outside the archdiocesan headquarters/chancery office, 222 17th Street (near Race) in downtown Philadelphia

Four or five adults who were molested as kids by Catholic priests and who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (including a St. Louis man who is the organization's national director and closely followed Cardinal Rigali for eight years in Missouri)

The group is distraught over the fact that no consequences have been meted out to any church workers - lay or clerics - who didn't report or worked to keep hidden known or suspected sex crimes against kids, despite a grand jury's recent conclusions about a "concerted cover up" by the church hierarchy.

In particular, SNAP wants Rigali to publicly discipline Auxiliary Bishop Joseph R. Cistone (215 587 4507). According to the Inquirer, the grand jury found that Cistone was "complicit in the 1996 silencing of Sister Joan Scary, who was trying to alert parishioners" about an abusive priest, and in 2002, took no action after learning that another molester had been teaching in two suburban school districts.

Cistone was promosted by Rigali in July 2004, two years into DA Lynn Abraham's investigation of the archdiocese.

The one year "window" is SNAP's top priority and one of several legislative reforms recommended by the grand jury report. California lawmakers enacted such a reform in 2002. In two other states - Ohio and New York - one legislative chamber have passed such a provision.

David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP national director 314 566 9790

Pat Clancy of Philadelphia, SNAP Philadelphia Support Leader 215 850 2527 (who has met face-to-face with Cistone)

Marie Whitehead of Philadelphia, SNAP Philadelphia director 215 200 1043

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests