Clergy Sex Group Holds Vigil

By David Clohessy
May 3, 2012


Holding signs and childhood photos, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will hold a small vigil outside the Philly Archdiocese headquarters. They will urge Catholic officials to:

--disclose more, not less, about predatory priests tomorrow, and

--explain why they kept kids needlessly at risk by keeping silent about every one of the 27 accused priests for more than a year.

They will also urge current and former Catholic church employees and members to step forward now and disclose any knowledge of crimes to Philadelphia law enforcement, regardless of what archdiocesan officials do or don’t do tomorrow.


Tonight, Thursday, May 3 at 9 p.m.


Outside the Philadelphia archdiocesan headquarters, 222 N 17th St. (Between Race St. and Vine St.)


Four-vive members of an international support group for victims of clergy abuse called SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), including a St. Louis man who is the organization’s longtime director


Tomorrow, the Archbishop of Philadelphia plans to disclose the fates of at least some of the 27 Philadelphia priests who were suspended in March 2001 because abuse reports/suspicions following a scathing 2011 grand jury report. For more than a year, Archbishop Charles Chaput and other top church staff have kept silent about these accusations, refusing to say which are credible, even though such silence has put kids in harm’s way, SNAP says.

Members of SNAP are holding a vigil tonight in remembrance of Philadelphia victims and in hopes that Archbishop Chaput will release all possible information regarding these priests tomorrow. The group fears that instead, he will release the bare minimum. SNAP wants the archbishop to not only disclose the findings of the church “investigations,” but also when each allegation was received and how many accusers each cleric faces.

“We expect that Archbishop Chaput will deem some of these allegations ‘unsubstantiated,’” said David Clohessy, SNAP Director. “It’s important to remember that ‘unsubstantiated’ does not mean ‘innocent,’ which is why we others with information about these priests – and the allegations they face – must speak up.”


“By keeping silent about these accusations, the Archbishop may have allowed others who were victimized by one of these priests to suffer in silence,” said Clohessy. “And he may have enabled one or more of these clerics to hurt other kids.”

SNAP is also calling for victims, witnesses, and whistleblowers to take any and all evidence or suspicions they may have to law enforcement officials.


David Clohessy, SNAP Director 314-566-9790,

Barbara Dorris, SNAP Outreach Director 314-862-7688,








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