The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) as well as “Voice of the Faithful," said on Wednesday that thousands of pages of documents released Tuesday "uncover a culture of secrecy, cover-up, denial and arrogance," in the Diocese of Bridgeport, but admitted that they haven't yet read the more than 12,000 pages of documents released by the diocese.
David Clohessy, national director of SNAP, said the documents show "partial truth about devastating cover-ups, and are a step toward healing those still trying to recover from the horror of sex crimes suffered in their youth by trusted, respected, but abusive priests."
Clohessy told CNA, "we hope that every single person who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover-ups, in Connecticut and elsewhere, will be inspired to speak up, call police, expose predators, protect kids, get help and start healing."
”We hope that Catholics will read the documents themselves and encourage others who were molested and are still suffering shame and isolation to come forward,” he added.
Clohessy explained to CNA that “I haven't read (the 12,000 pages of documents released by the diocese) and wouldn’t pretend to.” He admitted that his comments immediately following the release of the documents were not based on the documents themselves but on “what has been leaked to the press and covered by the media for years.”
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Diocese of Bridgeport said that in the last decade the Catholic Church throughout the United States “has brought about a significant culture change regarding the knowledge of and ability to deal with sexual abuse." "The diocese has worked and will continue to work diligently and transparently to address the issue of sexual abuse in order to prevent this tragedy from happening again."
"The diocese remains committed to reaching out to support those who have been harmed. Under the direction of a dedicated Office of Safe Environments, and together with the active participation of all clergy, lay employees, volunteers, and contractors, the diocese is doing everything in its power to provide safe environments for all children and young people," the diocesan statement concluded.