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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release
Giving Voice to Victims

Clergy sex abuse victims prod ‘whistleblowers’

They beg employees of secretive Catholic group to ‘speak up’

Last week, news surfaced that its founder, a priest, fathered a child

Self help group urges church ‘insiders’ to ‘help stop & expose corruption’

SNAP repeats its call for 'independent' probe into cult-like religious order'

Holding childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will beg
--- leaders a controversial, cult-like Connecticut-based Catholic religious group to launch a world-wide “Lost Sheep” campaign to find and help anyone sexually abused by its clerics, and
--- current and ex-members of the controversial group to tell police and prosecutors what they know about sexual and financial misdeeds by the group’s founder and other officials.

Just last week, news surfaced that the prominent priest who founded the group fathered a child out-of-wedlock. Earlier, he was punished for molesting boys.

TODAY, Wednesday, Feb. 11 at 11:00 a.m.

In front of Circle Media, the communications headquarters of the Legion of Christ, 432 Washington (near Glenn Rd), in North Haven, CT

Three sex abuse victims who belong to a support group called SNAP - the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( including a Missouri man who is the organization’s long-time national director

A week ago, the New York Times and other media reported that the long-time head of the Legion of Christ (Fr. Marcial Maciel) had an ‘affair’ with a woman and fathered a child by her. The Legion is a secretive and ultra-conservative Cheshire-based Catholic religious order. It has been accused of targeting rich Catholics and exerting extreme control over its members. Several US bishops have limited the organization’s work in their dioceses.

SNAP believes other key personnel in the Legion have either engaged in sexual misconduct or helped conceal Maciel’s misdeeds. The group is urging current and former Legion staff and members to “search their consciences,” “break their silence” and call law enforcement. The group also believes that the currenet hierarchy of the Legion should use it’s vast communications resources to aggressively seek out and offer help to those who have been sexually exploited by Legion clerics.

In 2006, Maciel, was ordered by the Vatican to suspend his public ministry and live “a life of prayer and reflection.” Top church officials admit that between 20 and 100 men report having been sexually assaulted by him as kids and young seminarians. He’s also been accused of illegal drug use. Maciel, who died in January 2008, was very close to Pope John Paul II.

Last week, SNAP called for an independent investigation into all the charges – Maciel’s child sex crimes as well as his ‘affair’ and parenthood.

(SNAP is also holding a 1:30 news conference today at Fairfield University regarding a different predator priest.)

David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell), Kathy Rector (860 384 4372, 860 621 4042), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home)

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests