Pope’s new abuse policy takes effect Saturday
It protects Catholic whistle blowers
Reporting suspected abuse is now everyone’s responsibility
But SNAP urges employees to tell law enforcement first
They call on US Bishops to create a whistleblower “Reward Fund”
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conferences, clergy abuse survivors and advocates will urge Church officials to take advantage of Pope Francis’ new whistle blower protections by coming forward to police and prosecutors with any information they have regarding cases of clergy sexual abuse. They will also encourage the formation of a Church-run “reward fund” that will benefit whistle blowers who speak out.
Friday, May 31 in Chicago, Washington D.C., and Oakland
Several clergy sex abuse survivors and supporters who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)
This Saturday, the Catholic Church’s first-ever world-wide abuse policy officially takes effect. Outlined by Pope Francis earlier this month, the policy says Church staff must report abuse and are guaranteed whistle blower protection when they do. SNAP wants US bishops to “widely publicize these two new rules” to ensure that employees “know about them and will act on them.”
SNAP also wants the US Catholic hierarchy to start a “whistle blowers reward fund” to give more incentive to Church workers to speak up when they see, suspect or suffer wrongdoing. The group is also appealing to current and former employees to call secular authorities first, not Church supervisors, in these cases.
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