SNAP held a protest today at the Cathedral to mark international All Survivors' Day.
The day is marked across the world for those who are victims and survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
In a release to media, members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, say they are askin Bishop Douglas Deshotel to "rescind his official letter that required all current Seminarians to disassociate themselves from "whistle-blower" organizations, specifically "The Society of Saint Peter Damian," with the direct threat that they would be expelled from the Seminary."
They also are asking "Louisiana State Attorney General Jeff Landy to take creative and extraordinary action and measures to assist our surviving victims and survivors, so that they may know justice administered, and appealing to Governor John Bel Edwards to direct the Louisiana State Police to conduct a statewide investigation into the continued coverup of the Catholic Church in the State of Louisiana."
Surivors are not alone. If you need help, call 800.656.HOPE (4673) to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area. SNAP also offers help.
"I'm a survivor of sexual abuse by my parish priest. It's incredibly important that victims of sexual abuse step forward. Regretfully, within the institution of the church, they've been hiding predators. We think it's important for victims of abuse to step forward," said Tim Lennon, president of the SNAP board of directors. "I think it's important that survivors know they're not alone. They can get help through our organization SNAP or RAIN, Rape, Abuse, Incest, National Network provide an opportunity for survivors to report their abuse."
Richard Windmann, a member of SNAP, called for better response from the church to help survivors.
"We're like cauldrons that boil over all of our life until we can't take it anymore. There's no cure for what we have. We can only attempt to manage it. We need the abuse to stop now and we need transparency with the church," Windmann said.