The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

Statement Regarding New Pope's Plan to
Preserve Sex Abuse Law


(NOTE - Cardinal George, according to the AP, is predicting that Pope Benedict will extend the US church sex abuse guidelines, based on a brief conversation between the two men. See


April 20, 2005

Statement by Peter Isely of Milwaukee WI

SNAP Board Member (414) 429 7259 cell, (414) 963 8617

Extension is fine but what we really need is implementation.

Policies have never been the issue. The issue has been, and continues to be, follow through. The scandal doesn't arise from what the Vatican says, but from waht the bishops do.

The US bishops sex abuse guidelines are vague, weak and only sporadically enforced. Only a tiny minority would oppose maintining the policy, while many would like to see it substantially strengthened.

This move isn't surprising. It would be pretty unusual for a brand new Pope to immediately take a radical step backwards on such a controversial crisis.

Still, many look to the Pontiff to set a tone. It would have been very discouraging if his first action about the sex cover up scandal would have been to retreat from the 'baby steps' begrudgingly taken by U bishops.

For more information:

In Rome:
Phil Saviano of Boston, SNAP Web Master, 39 334 180 7425 cell

In the U.S.:

David Clohessy of St. Louis MO, SNAP National Director (314) 566-9790 cell
Barbara Blaine of Chicago IL, SNAP Founder and President (312) 399 4747 cell
Mark Serrano of Leasburg VA, SNAP Board Member (703) 727 4940 cell

Janet Patterson of Conway Springs KS, 620-456-2330 (home); 316-772-6537 (cell)
Mary Grant of Long Beach CA, SNAP Board Member (626) 419 2930
Peter Isely of Milwaukee WI, SNAP Board Member (414) 429 7259 cell, (414) 963 8617
Terri Light of San Francisco CA, SNAP Board Member (510) 727-1872
Mark Furnish of Albany NY, SNAP Board Member (518) 366-5842

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests