Survivor Network Wants Church Apology

By Shelby Zarotney
August 16, 2006

A local advocacy group says the most appropriate action to take after the Steubenville Diocese confirms credible information in connection with a child abuse case at St. Sylvester's Catholic Church in Monroe County, would be for an apology in-person.

The organization, SNAP, which stands for The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, hand-delivered a multi-page letter to the Diocese of Steubenville, addressed to Bishop R. Daniel Conlon.

In the letter, Snap requests that Bishop Conlon personally go to the parishes where the credible accusations came from and apologize on behalf of the Catholic Church and make a public offer of assistance to anyone who witnessed, suspected or experienced abuse from the clergy.

This is in reponse to alleged abuse that took place in the late 70's.

The diocese named pastor Robert Brown and church volunteer Paul Ditto in their report.

According to local SNAP leader for the Diocese of Steubenville, Judy Jones says,

"SNAP is here for healing, education and preventing child abuse." And says, "I delivered (the letter) to Msgr. Calovini and I asked him to sign that he received the letter, he refused and would not sign it."

Monsignor Gerald Calovini of the Steubenville Diocese did offer this statement on behalf of the Diocese...

"Representatives of SNAP presented letters from victims to be delivered to the Bishop and they were.

Bishop Conlon continues to seek prayers for those who have been abused and those who have been the perpetrators of abuse, and he encourages anyone to contact Msgr. Kurt Kemo at the Diocese of Steubenville.

Judy Jones encourages anyone who has been victimized by the clergy to contact SNAP for help at 614-645-5915.


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