SNAP pleased at more priests pushed into public eye

Monday, February 4, 2019
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

man wearing clerical collarA network of people abused by priests is optimistic that more Catholic leaders will come forward in naming the accused.

On Friday, the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge, Louisiana released the names of three dozen clergy members it says were credibly accused of sexually abusing children or vulnerable adults.

One day earlier, Catholic leaders in Texas identified 286 priests and others accused of sexually abusing children.

"This is a really important step for dioceses to take, and I think it's a really good thing to do both for the healing of current survivors," says Zach Hiner, executive director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

Hiner adds that few victims of sexual violence come forward, but when they see someone who may have abused them being listed publicly, it gives them courage and lets them know that they're not alone.

"And it results usually in survivors coming forward and getting help, so that's great," he says. "It is also critical for the prevention of future abuse and deterrents of abuse and cover-ups."

For example, if the church had received allegations and sat on them, or if the church received allegations and took care of them immediately, this kind of full transparency is what Hiner says SNAP calls for. 

"And it's what the church has been promising since 2002," Hiner continues.

More dioceses are falling in line and producing public lists after the "bombshell" grand jury report from Pennsylvania released last summer, he adds.  

 

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