Press Release



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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release
Giving Voice to Victims


For Immediate Release:
December 13, 2007

For More Information:
David Lorenz of Bowie MD, Central Maryland SNAP Director, 301 906 9161 cell
Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP Outreach Director 314 862 7688
David Clohessy of St. Louis SNAP National Director 314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915
Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP President 312 399 4747

Clergy sex abuse victims & Catholics ask Vatican for help

“Monitor and defrock 10 bishops who’ve molested kids,” groups urge

They want 3 other bishops, almost cited for contempt of court, to be disciplined

On 5th anniversary of Cardinal Law’s resignation, Catholics see ‘no accountability’

They hand-deliver letter to Pope's US representative after sidewalk news conference

At a sidewalk news conference, victims of clergy sexual abuse and concerned Catholics will try to hand deliver a letter to the Pope’s representative in the US, asking that Vatican officials

-- monitor and defrock ten suspended predatory US bishops whose whereabouts are largely unknown,

-- discipline three California bishops who have recently dodged contempt of court charges, and

-- investigate other US bishops who’ve helped cover up child sex crimes

The event takes place on the five year anniversary of the resignation of Boston’s disgraced Catholic Cardinal Bernard Law and highlights the fact that virtually none of the hundreds of church officials who covered up child sex crimes have been held accountable in any way.

Thursday, Dec. 13, 1:15 p.m.

Outside the office of the Pope’s US representative, (the “Papal Nuncio”), 3339 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., in downtown Washington DC

Leaders and members of a nation-wide support group called SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) and a local Catholic lay reform group called VOTF (Voice of the Faithful)

The group will hold signs and childhood photos.

:Hundreds of pedophile priests have been suspended from active ministry. Dozens are being defrocked. Some are allegedly “monitored” by church officials. But virtually none of the roughly 15 US Catholic bishops who have been accused of child molestation in recent years are being defrocked or supervised.

For the most part, their whereabouts are unknown. This, local SNAP & VOTF leaders feel, puts kids at risk, leaves Catholics in doubt, and impedes healing throughout the church.

These bishops include Thomas Dupre (Springfield MA), Kendrick Williams (Lexington KY), Anthony O’Connell (Palm Beach FL), Patrick Zieman (Santa Rosa CA), Lawrence Soens (Sioux City IA), Keith Symons (Palm Springs FL) and Joseph Hart (Cheyenne WY). Rembert Weakland (Milwaukee WI) and James McCarthy (Archdiocese of NY) essentially admitted having ‘affairs’ with adult Catholics.

Within the last year, three other bishops who have NOT been accused of molesting kids themselves, faced the threat of possible contempt charges because of their deceitful conduct regarding abuse cases. They are Robert Brom of San Diego, Daniel Walsh of Santa Rosa and Tod Brown of Orange County. SNAP and VOTF believe their secrecy and deception are typical of other bishops. If their misdeeds go unpunished by the church hierarchy, SNAP and VOTF feel, other bishops will be emboldened to mishandle abuse too.

SNAP is the nation's largest self-help group for clergy sex abuse victims. VOTF is a Catholic lay reform group that began in 2002 as a result of the clergy molestation crisis. SNAP is based in Chicago and VOTF is based in Boston.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests