|Clergy Sex Victims Urge Pope to Set up Data Base of Predator Priests
September 8, 2010
They say pontiff must take “real steps” not “symbolic ones,” to help
“That’s the only way kids will be safer,” UK & US organizations say
They prod UK Catholic hierarchy to help with upcoming criminal trial
Child molesting cleric hurt kids in two countries soon faces prosecution
WHAT: Exactly one week before Pope Benedict arrives in the UK, clergy sex abuse victims will prod
--the pontiff to set up a world-wide data base of child molesting clerics,
--church officials – in the UK and Rome – to help find others hurt by a predator priest facing trial, and
-- anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes to call police officials (not church officials).
Thursday, Sept. 9 at 1:30 p.m.
Outside the Vatican embassy, 54 Parkside, Wimbledon, London, SW19 5NE, United Kingdom
Clergy sex abuse victims from England and the US including a London man who heads NAPAC National Association for People Abused in Childhood) and an American woman who founded and heads the world’s oldest and largest clergy victims group SNAP - the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)
In its first news conference on this overseas trip, SNAP will harshly criticize the Pope for what it considers “meaningless words and public relations gestures” on child sex abuse and prod the pontiff to take a “real step” toward protecting children: the establishment of a world-wide data base of proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics (modeled on a private, US-based one called BishopAccountability.org). Such a list would be perhaps the most effective way the Vatican could truly safeguard children, SNAP believes.
Since pledging on June 11, 2010 to “do everything possible” to stop future clergy sex crimes, the Pope has taken only “tiny, begrudging, and belated steps” to protect the vulnerable, SNAP feels.
SNAP will also urge all UK church staff to use their “considerable resources” to reach out to anyone with information about alleged child sex crimes and cover ups involving Fr. Richard John James Robinson. He is charged with repeatedly sexually violating at least five boys (between 11 and 15 year old) between 1959 and 1983 and faces a criminal trial in England on Oct. 4.
Specifically, victims are asking UK bishops to use their diocesan and parish websites and bulletins to beg victims and witnesses to contact law enforcement. Each bishop, the victims maintain, has a moral and civic duty to report clergy sex crimes and suspicions immediately to secular authorities AND aggressively seek out others with knowledge of the accusations and urge them to call law enforcement as well.
From 1993-96, Robinson worked in five different Los Angeles area parishes, where he is also accused of molesting kids. In 2008, a BBC film crew tracked down Robinson in a California trailer court and confronted him on camera with two of his victims. In 2009, he was extradited back to England.
SNAP believes there are hundreds of child molesting clerics like Robinson who have quietly or secretly been sent to different countries by church supervisors, some of whom are running from the law. In the years ahead, as citizens, Catholics and police become more vigilant about abuse, SNAP and NAPAC predict even more predator priests will be transferred overseas.
One of Robinson’s US victims is represented by Newport Beach CA attorney John Manly (949 252 9990, JManly@manlystewart.com).
(On Sept. 12, members of SNAP will hand out fliers to mass-goers outside a London church. For details, please check SNAP’s website – SNAPnetwork.org - on Friday afternoon Sep 10.)
Barbara Blaine of SNAP 312 399 4747 cell, SNAPblaine@gmail.com (UK mobile phone 07587206053) Pete Saunders of NAPAC (07977 975 402), Therese Albrecht UK mobile phone 07 570 893 544, Barbara Dorris 314 5903 9993 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com
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