The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Tuesday, November 9, 2010
New clergy sex & fraud suit filed; Victims respond
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, [email protected])
Our hearts go out to this brave woman, Guadalupe Gonzales, and we grieve for the shattered and stolen childhood she suffered because of a predator priest. We commend her for her strength and courage. And we believe that, by taking legal action against those responsible for her pain, she will find greater healing.
The overwhelming majority of child sex abuse victims are never able to take action against pedophiles. Many who are able chose not to. The minority who do expose wrongdoing and seek justice are helping to make sure kids are protected and crimes are prevented in the future. They deserve our gratitude and praise.
We also applaud this legal approach – holding the church hierarchy responsible for the crimes of its staff. In almost every case that clears the initial hurtles raised by Catholic defense lawyers, evidence emerges showing that top church employees knew or should have known that predator priests were dangerous yet were moved without warning to new, unsuspecting parishes where they molested again. Time and time again, Catholic bishops try to distance themselves from the horrific crimes perpetrated by the very clerics they
Catholic officials can’t have it both ways. They can’t ignore and conceal clergy sex crimes and be immune from responsibility when those crimes are discovered.
We hope that Guadalupe’s courage will inspire others who were hurt by Fr. Lawrence Peguero- or other child molesting clerics - to come forward, speak up, take action, expose wrongdoing and seek justice.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 22 years and have more than 10,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, 314-645-5915 home, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, [email protected]), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, [email protected])
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests