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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

In Rome, clergy sex victims pan this week’s remarks by Pope

Group begs Catholics to “ignore papal apology, insist on papal action”

Self help organization wants Pope Benedict to “end the excuse-making & blame-shifting”

SNAP also urges him to protect kids now by disclosing names of all predator priests worldwide

Holding signs and childhood photos at a news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will disclose and discuss a letter they’re sending to the Pope about his anticipated apology this week for pedophile priests. It prods him to “go beyond mere words” and take three specific steps to prevent future clergy sex abuse and cover ups.

They will also urge Catholics world-wide to
--ignore an upcoming papal apology about pedophile priests, and
--insist on real reform, especially external investigation and monitoring of sex cases and the disclosure of the names and whereabouts of all predator priests worldwide.

They will also urge secular authorities across - Europe and North America – to
---launch independent investigations into clergy sex crimes and cover ups, like the Irish government has, and
---eliminate “predator-friendly” statutes of limitations which endanger children and prevent child sex abuse victims from exposing predator priests and corrupt bishops in court.

And they’ll urge anyone who sees, suspects, or suffers clergy sex crimes to call police officials, not church officials.

WHEN: Tuesday, June 8, 1:30 p.m.

In Rome, at the Hotel Cicerone, Via Cicerone 55, 00193 (tel +39 06 35.76)

3-4 American clergy sex abuse victims who belong to a Chicago-based self help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (, including the organization’s outreach director

Many Vatican observers believe that this week, during a large celebration in Rome, Pope Benedict will issue another apology for the crimes of pedophile priests.

But SNAP wants “action, not words,” and is urging the pontiff to avoid blaming gays, journalists, lawyers,

therapists, “secular” culture and allegedly “anti-Catholic” bias for the crisis. They’re pushing him to avoid minimizing the scandal by claiming the crimes are “years ago,” the cover ups are “history,” and that abuse is allegedly as common in other institutions.

Instead, victims want Benedict to squarely place responsibility where SNAP believes it belongs: on reckless, deceitful and callous church officials who even now continue to ignore and conceal child sex abuse.

And the organization is urging the Pope to take three clear steps to safeguard children now: 1) invite and cooperate with state inquires into abuse cover ups (like the Irish government has done), 2) push for reforming or eliminating “predator friendly laws” (like the statute of limitations), and 3) to create a global child molesting clerics registry and publicly list it on diocesan websites across the world, (including the names and whereabouts of all proven, admitted and credibly accused pedophile priests. (Roughly 24 US dioceses have taken steps like this.)

In a letter sent today by fax and e mail to Pope Benedict, SNAP will ask the pontiff to “go beyond mere words, and take real steps to expose, discipline or remove child molesting clerics and complicit church officials immediately.”

In Rome: Joelle Casteix 338-456-7942 (Italian cell) [email protected] , Peter Isely 338-456-7879 (Italian cell) [email protected] , Barbara Dorris 314-503-0003 [email protected] .

In the US: David Clohessy 314 566 9790 [email protected], Barbara Blaine 312 399 4747, [email protected]

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests