TEXAS, USA — A non-profit called Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) released a statement saying the "lists might not be as transparent as promised" in response to the statewide move of dioceses in Texas to release names of clergy members 'credibly accused' of sexual abuse of a minor.

SNAP was started in 1989 and now has 25,000 active survivors and supporters in the group. Its next meeting for the area is on March 7 at 6 p.m. at Freed-Montrose Library in Houston. Those who can't be there are invited to call SNAP to make arrangements to join the meeting by phone.

The group applauds the release of the lists but says true transparency comes through investigations and says independent authorities should "trust but verify" according to the release.

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"As survivors and advocates for survivors of clergy sexual abuse, we believe that any and all transparency is to be applauded coming from a closed and secret culture such as the Roman Catholic Church," the release says. "The releasing of these lists is at least one small step towards transparency. Still, we are concerned that these lists might not be as transparent as promised."

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SNAP says in Buffalo, Pennsylvania and Illinois that dioceses have not disclosed full lists of credibly accused priests or provided information about church officials who covered up crimes according to the release

The release says the only way to ensure bishops are truly sincere about rebuilding trust is to allow "independent, properly-vetted and trained experts in law enforcement to review all the files," including "secret files" mentioned in the Pennsylvania jury report from last year.

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"This is 2019 in the great state of Texas. We are proud Texans who care about the safety and protection of innocent children and vulnerable adults," the release says. "We care about rooting out evil in positions of power within churches of all faiths and we need to trust that church officials are forthright and honest when it comes to the standards of care for innocent children and vulnerable adults. It’s that simple."

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From a SNAP news release:

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) to Texas bishops: it's not enough

SNAP applauds the release of lists but says that true transparency comes through investigations and urge independent authorities to "trust but verify"

As survivors and advocates for survivors of clergy sexual abuse, we believe that any and all transparency is to be applauded coming from a closed and secret culture such as the Roman Catholic Church. The releasing of these lists is at least one small step towards transparency. Still, we are concerned that these lists might not be as transparent as promised.

We have recently learned in places like Buffalo, Pennsylvania and Illinois that the dioceses have not been forthright in disclosing full lists of credibly accused priests, nor providing information about the church officials who covered-up their crimes. The only way to ensure that the bishops here in Texas are truly sincere about rebuilding their sacred trust is to allow for independent, properly-vetted and trained experts in law enforcement to review all the files, including the “secret files” which we learned exist from the Pennsylvania grand jury report last year.

While we applaud this statewide release of names as a first step, we believe in the old Russian proverb, ''trust but verify.'' This is 2019 in the great state of Texas. We are proud Texans who care about the safety and protection of innocent children and vulnerable adults. We care about rooting out evil in positions of power within churches of all faiths and we need to trust that church officials are forthright and honest when it comes to the standards of care for innocent children and vulnerable adults. It’s that simple.

When the bishops do take steps to encourage an independent investigation, then and only then will we know for certain that the bishops in Texas are walking the talk. Then and only then can we feel content and confident that they are on the road to rebuilding trust among parishioners and the community. As everyone knows, rebuilding trust is much more difficult than being trusted in the first place, and so extraordinary efforts towards transparency and openness must be taken.

We in SNAP are not anti-Catholic. We are not anti-church. We are pro-victim and we exist to provide independent, compassionate support to survivors of clergy abuse, something the churches have failed to do universally. The larger effort of cleaning up the Catholic Church is going to require rank-and-file Catholics to step up and demand and verify the transparency promised by their leaders. We think most Catholics believed that this crisis was handled back in 2002, but recent revelations have shown that we still have a long way to go.

Whether it’s carefully curating a list to keep some names of abusive priests hidden or a failure to properly investigate allegations of abuse, we believe that any kind of secrecy or hiding of abuse serves only perpetrators and protects the brotherhood of priests and does so at the expense of Catholic children and other children in the community. There is no justification and no excuse for allowing such evil and crime to exist inside a religious institution. Nobody should get away with abusing innocent children or being above the law. That’s just plain old common sense.

We urge anyone who sees the name of their perpetrator listed and would like support to please reach out to us at snapnetwork.org or 1-877-SNAP-HEALS. If you or a loved one were abused here in Texas and your perpetrator is NOT listed, especially if you reported to the church in the past, please contact your local police department or SNAP for support. We can help.

CONTACT: Lisa Kendzior (snapdfw@verizon.net, 817-773-5907), Paul Petersen (snapdfw.paul@gmail.com, 972-569-0995) Michael D. Norris, SNAP Houston (snapmdnorris@hotmail.com, 713-855-9178) Tim Lennon (tlennon@snapnetwork.org, (415) 312-5820)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)