Gonzales Speaks to Nation’s Largest Denomination Tu…

Gonzales Speaks to Nation’s Largest Denomination Tuesday
SNAP Wants Him to Prod Baptists to Take Steps to Protect Kids
On Monday, Self Help Group will Leaflet Key Baptist Officials

AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 18 LAWFUEL – Legal News Network — Victims of childhood clergy sex abuse are asking US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to prod top Southern Baptist officials to work harder to protect kids from child-molesting clergy. On Tuesday, Gonzales will speak to the highest decision-making body of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination in Nashville.

Leaders of a support group called SNAP, Survivors Network of those
Abused by Priests, want Gonzales to urge Baptists to move more quickly to
oust clergy predators and set up an independent review panel to handle
molestation charges.

“No one wants to see a repeat of the Catholic sex abuse and cover-up
scandal, but unless Southern Baptists start dealing with the problem
effectively and compassionately, that may happen,” said Christa Brown of
Austin, TX. She was sexually assaulted as a child by a Baptist minister and runs a website called StopBaptistPredators.org. “We hope that Attorney General Gonzales will convey this message to Baptist officials.”

For months, clergy sex abuse victims have been frustrated by the
refusal of key Baptist officials to respond to their requests for action to make churches safer. They want an independent panel for reviewing reports of clergy sex abuse and the implementation of a tough, nationwide
zero-tolerance policy. Denominational officers, however, have ignored
SNAP’s requests.

“It’s discouraging when men who profess to follow Jesus Christ don’t
even answer their mail from deeply wounded victims of horrific child sex
crimes,” said David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP’s National Director. “If
they won’t respond to actual victims, who can believe they’ll protect
potential child victims?”

On Monday Feb. 19, a handful of SNAP members plan to hand out flyers at Nashville’s Renaissance Hotel and Southern Baptist headquarters where the Executive Committee is meeting.


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