Dallas, Texas— Moved by the clarity and determination of the Survivor’s Network for those Abused by Priests (SNAP), and outraged by the lack of commitment shown by the bishops, thirteen Catholic reform groups are supporting the survivors’ network call for the dismissal of all priests, bishops and cardinals who have ever sexually abused a minor. The groups also call for the resignation of every bishop or cardinal who facilitated that sexual abuse in any way. At the conclusion of the June 2002 meeting of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Catholic reform groups asserted the following: · The solution is simple, priests and bishops who abused minors in the past, present or future, once, twice or a hundred times must go. · There is no need for the bishops to agonize over mechanisms for making zero tolerance a reality. They must accept this as a key element of the solution and stall no longer. · Catholic people are no longer interested in excuses. We are not interested in shifting the blame. As bishops, these men are to be intelligent, good managers who know how to implement new management policies. Their job is to do it. · To allow an abuser to remain in the priesthood, even in an inactive status, is an offense to those who have been abused and a danger to all our children. In addition, the Catholic reform groups called for the resignation of every church official, including bishops and cardinals, who facilitated the continuation in the priesthood of any abuser. The call for resignation extends to officials who transferred abusing priests to other parishes, who did not report offenses to civil authorities, who denied documents to victims’ lawyers and civil authorities, and who, in any way, abused the dignity of victims. The groups called on all Catholic organizations, right and left, to adopt policies supporting the positions of the survivors. The Catholic reform groups are launching a new website, www.BishopsWatch.org, to monitor and track the actions of the worst of the nation’s bishops, including a national registry of priests and bishops who are admitted, proven, and/or convicted sexual abusers. The groups vowed to work with the laity and encourage individual Catholics to take action and send a signal to their bishop, including asking all Catholics to take the money they would give to the church and give it to a group that they trust to carry out the gospel. The Catholic reform groups stand firmly with the women and men who are the victims of sexual abuse by clergy and pledge to support them as we wait for true change in the Catholic church. Statement Supporters: Catholics for a Free Choice Frances Kissling, President Tel: (202) 986-6093 Catholics Speak Out/Quixote Center Rea Howarth, National Coordinator Tel: (301) 699-0042 Celibacy is the Issue (CITI) Louise Haggett, President and Founder Tel: (508) 788-0385 CORPUS Anthony T. Padovano, past President and Catholic theologian Tel: (973) 539-8732 Dignity/USA Mary Louise Cervone, President Pager: (215) 719-5379 Federation of Christian Ministries Sr. Bridget Mary Meehan, SFCC, President Tel: (703) 967-6736 Loretto Women’s Network Maureen McCormack, SL Tel: (303) 783-0450 Sisters Against Sexism Ruth Fitzpatrick Tel: (703) 938-0746 WATER (Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual) Diann Neu Tel: (301) 589-2509 Women-Church Convergence Mary E. Hunt Tel: (301) 589-2509 Women in Spirit of Colorado: Catholic Women for Reform Kay Norton Haughey, Founding Director Tel: (970) 586-2708 Women’s Ordination Conference Genevieve Chavez, Executive Director Tel: (505) 649-5479 Young Feminist Network Joy Barnes Tel: (703) 307-5631