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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Victims group to leaflet over new Seattle archbishop

They will hand out fliers at special installation mass at cathedral

Group prods prelate to “come clean” about cleric who molested earlier last year

Though church knew seminarian was sexually troubled, Sartain ordained him anyway

SNAP urges local Catholics to “insist that your new shepherd address disturbing case”

As parishioners enter a special service for Seattle’s new Catholic archbishop, clergy sex abuse victims and supporters will hand out fliers about him. The leaflets will:
--harshly criticize the prelate for knowingly ordaining a sexually troubled cleric last summer who molested at least one child recently,
--challenge the archbishop to explain and apologize for his recklessness and secrecy, &
--beg anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes to come forward and get help

Wednesday, Dec. 1 at 1:15 p.m.

Outside St. James Catholic Cathedral, 804 Ninth Ave. in Seattle, WA

2-3 child sex abuse victims who belong to a self help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (

Three months ago, Illinois prosecutors made a startling disclosure about Seattle’s new Catholic archbishop Peter Sartain. Church officials in Sartain’s old diocese of Joliet knew Fr. Alejandro Flores was sexually troubled. Weeks after learning this, however, Sartain went ahead and ordained Flores on schedule.

Prosecutors said that church staff was “concerned” because Flores was “caught with gay porn,” including “images (that) appeared to be those of young boys.” Like so many other Catholic officials over the years, Sartain kept secret about Flores’ misdeeds and, just weeks later, essentially promoted Flores anyway.

In September, Flores pleaded guilty to molesting a boy last year. Ironically, on the same day, Sartain was promoted to head the Seattle archdiocese.

In response, SNAP quickly wrote to Pope Benedict, urging him to rescind his promotion of Sartain, calling Sartain’s 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 has asked Illinois prosecutors to disclose the evidence of church complicity and recklessness. SNAP also wants Seatrain to publicly explain and apologize for keeping secrets about 1) the alleged restrictions he put on Flores after the porn discovery 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.

SNAP is also urging Seattle area Catholics to push Sartain to “publicly and honestly” address this case, explain his recklessness and secrecy, and apologize. SNAP warns local parishioners to “be vigilant, not complacent” about Sartain’s dealings with clergy sex crimes.

CONTACT John Shuster 360 551 9982, [email protected], Barbara Blaine 312 399 4747, [email protected], David Clohessy 314 566 9790, [email protected], Barbara Dorris 314 503 0003, [email protected]

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests