And resolve allegations against 32 others more quickly, victims plead
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
--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
Saturday, May 5 at
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.