The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Release
Victims prod prosecutor & blast Catholic bishop
They prod prelate to “come clean” about convicted cleric
Group also urges D.A. to share proof of church ‘recklessness’
In unusual move, Pope is asked to rescind Joliet bishop’s new promotion
SNAP: This is “frightening similar” to Chicago’s controversial McCormack case
Holding childhood photos and signs at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will
--publicly prod Joliet’s Catholic bishop to hold an open public meeting and disclose what he knew about a sexually troubled seminarian before he ordained the now recently convicted predator priest, and
--publicly prod Kane County prosecutors to disclose what they know about ‘warning signs’ of the priest’s alleged sexual misdeeds that were apparently either ignored or minimized by local church officials.
The victims will also
--discuss their unprecedented letter to Pope Benedict last week, urging the pontiff to rescind his recent promotion of Joliet’s bishop, and
--beg anyone else who saw, suspected or suffered the cleric’s crimes to speak up, get help, expose wrongdoing, protect kids and start healing.
TODAY, Thursday, Sept. 23 at 1:30 p.m.
Outside the Joliet Diocese headquarters (chancery), 425 Summit in Joliet IL
2-4 child sex abuse victims who belong to a self help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)
Two weeks ago, Kane County prosecutors made some startling disclosures: even before he was ordained last summer, Joliet Catholic officials knew Fr. Alejandro Flores was sexually troubled. (Prosecutors said that church staff was “concerned” because Flores was “caught with gay porn – including “images (that) appeared to be those of young boys.”) But after learning this, Joliet Bishop Peter Sartain kept secret about it, quietly told Flores to stay away from kids and ordained him anyway, just weeks later.
Last Friday, Flores pleaded guilty to molesting a boy earlier this year, and ironically, on the same day, Sartain was promoted to head the Seattle archdiocese.
And on Monday, SNAP wrote to Pope Benedict, urging him to rescind his promotion of Sartain, calling his recent actions “irresponsible, deceptive and callous.” It’s the first time in SNAP’s 22 year history that the group has made a request like this of the Pope.
For the sake of public safety, and to deter similar wrongdoing in the future, SNAP wants Kane County prosecutors to disclose the evidence of church complicity and recklessness. SNAP also wants Sartain to publicly explain and apologize for keeping secrets about 1) his restriction on Flores and 2) Flores’ known sexual misdeeds. The group also wants Sartain to apologize for and explain 1) why he ordained Flores at all, and 2) didn’t at least postpone the ordination.
The case is “stunningly similar,” SNAP maintains, to the recent, controversial case of Fr. Daniel McCormack in Chicago, who is now behind bars for sexually violating several children.
Barbara Blaine 312 399 4747, [email protected]
David Clohessy 314 566 9790, [email protected]