SNAP Responds to Bishop Chaput's Announcement of Removal of Five Philly Priests

By David Clohessy and Barbara Dorris
May 5, 2012


As Catholics go into mass, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will hand out fliers calling on Philly's archbishop to:

--put five permanently-ousted predator priests in secure, independently run treatment centers,

--work harder to resolve accusations against 32 other allegedly sexually troubled clerics, and

--give parishioners and the public more information about the allegations

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.


Saturday, May 5 at 11:45 a.m.


Outside the Cathedral of SS Peter and Paul, 18th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, in Philly


Three, four members of a 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


On Friday, Archbishop Charles Chaput announced that five Philly priests, who were in active ministry just over a year ago, are permanently barred from returning to church work. But SNAP wants those clerics sent far away from Philly and put into remote, secure treatment facilities so that they'll get help and so that kids will be protected.

Otherwise, SNAP contends, kids will still be at risk, since church officials usually provide little or no meaningful oversight of ousted predatory priests. Though Chaput reportedly claims they'll be "supervised," SNAP feels it's reckless to let the credibly accused clerics live among unsuspecting families perhaps near the very children they may have assaulted.

It's taken the archdiocese 14 months to resolve just 8 of the 37 cases of accused priests still in ministry that were cited by a Philly grand jury in February 2011. For the sake of public safety, SNAP wants Chaput and his staff to work harder to investigate and conclude the remaining cases. Chaput should personally visit parishes where accused priests worked, the group says. He should beg anyone with information about the accusations to contact law enforcement immediately, SNAP maintains.

Finally, SNAP is harshly critical of the vague language used and inadequate information given out by Chaput about the cases. Saying that a cleric "violated standards of ministerial behavior" tells parents, parishioners and the public "virtually nothing" SNAP asserts. Kids are safest when adults are honest about what crimes or misdeeds happened, the group maintains. They're calling on Chaput to be more honest with his flock about all 37 allegations.




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