- 2003


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statements

Statement Regarding Possible Weakening
of U.S. Bishops' Sex Abuse Policy

October 27, 2003

by SNAP Leader Mark Serrano
(703) 771 9606, (703) 727 4940 cell

"We're very worried about further backsliding by America's Catholic bishops on their promises to put children first and keep molesters out of active ministry.

It is ludicrous to suggest that the already weak Dallas Charter be further weakened. If revisions are to be considered, they need to strenghten, not further eviscerate, this already flawed document.

We know of no case in which a priest has been removed for 'pats on the back' or 'relatively innocuous comments,' and challenge Vatican officials to produce evidence of this. We strongly oppose altering the definition of the abuse.

We also strongly oppose revoking or revising the so-called "one strike" provision. In its present form, it is only sporadically and reluctantly implemented, and even then, often only after considerable external pressure.

It is irresponsible and dangerous to assume that a priest who has molested once hasn't or won't abuse again.

This alleged concern about "double jeapardy" is misguided and disinegnuous. Some bishops continue to see removing an abusive priest as 'punishment.' It is, in fact, prevention, and the bare minimum needed to insure that kids are safe."

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Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests