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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Clergy sex abuse victims speak publicly for the first time

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Clergy sex abuse victims speak publicly for the first time

They just reached new settlement last week against predator priest

Serial child molesting clergyman worked in local church and school

Dallas should officials should “aggressively reach out” to others, group says

SNAP begs others who were sexually assaulted, by any cleric, to 'come forward'

Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conferences,, clergy sex abuse victims will
-- speak publicly for the first time about their recent $4.6 million settlement with Catholic officials, and
-- prod the Dallas church hierarchy to work hard to find and help others who've been sexually assaulted, and
-- beg anyone who saw, suspected or suffered his crimes or misdeeds to get help, call police, expose predators, protect others and start healing

Wednesday, October 21 at 1:45 pm

Outside St Mary of Carmel Catholic church, 2900 Vilbig Rd., (in the Oak Cliff area) in Dallas

Three or four clergy sex abuse victims who are members of SNAP the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (, including a Chicago woman who is the group's founder and president.

Last Friday, a $4.65 million settlement was announced involving lawsuits by six men who were abused as boys by Fr. Thomas Behnke , a Catholic priest who worked in Dallas in the 1970s and 1980s. The Dallas Diocese and Behnke’s employer, an Oklahoma City-based religious order called the Discalced Carmelite Friars, were the defendants in the cases.

For the first time, a couple of them will talk publicly about their suffering, and challenge Catholic authorities to do more to seek out others hurt by Behnke who may still be “suffering in shame, silence and self blame.”

From 1979 to 1984 Behnke worked at St. Mary of Carmel Church. All six boys were abused in this parish (and elsewhere) over nearly two decades. The victims were about 11-12 years old when the abuse began. The crimes happened in the rectory and during trips.

From 1984-1987, Behnke worked at the Cathedral in Dallas.

SNAP is calling on both the Carmelites and the diocese to “use every resource at their disposal to reach out to others who may have been harmed" including using church websites, diocesan newspapers, parish bulletins and pulpits.

The victims are represented by Dallas attorney Lori Watson and Linda Turley of the Turley law firm(214-691-4025, [email protected]).

Barbara Blaine 312-399-4747 cell
David Clohessy 314 566 9790 cell
Barbara Dorris 314 503 0003 cell

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests