SNAP Press Statements
Statement Regarding
Estimates of Clergy Abuse

By David Clohessy and Mark Serrano, Barbara Blaine
Downloaded February 10, 2004

For immediate release:
Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2004

Sex Abuse Victims Respond to New Estimates of Clergy Abuse

Group Asks Catholics To Stay Vigilant & Skeptical of Bishops' Claims


Statement by David Cerulli of New York City, SNAP Board Member (917 757 1791)

"Our experience has led us to believe that sex crimes by clergy have always been more widespread than any church leader acknowledged.

Time and time again, we've seen bishops minimize the extent of abuse by clergy. So we're not particularly surprised by these numbers. We hope, however, that those who are surprised will be motivated to take concrete action to protect children in the church today.

The real issue is not what hundreds of abusive clergy have done, but rather what dozens of complicit bishops are doing. They remain focused, even now, largely on damage control rather than genuine outreach, healing and prevention.

We hope these numbers prompt more victims to come forward and more Catholics to stay vigilant.

These numbers suggest that there are still hundreds of people who have been moelsted by clergy yet remained trapped in shame and self-blame. The question now is how to best help them heal and enable them to report these horrible crimes.

We pray these wounded men and women find the strength and courage to come forward, begin to recover, and help prevent more abuse."


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