Victim Advocacy Group Wants Meeting with Pope Francis - NBC Chicago

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Victim Advocacy Group Wants Meeting with Pope Francis

SNAP's midwest director calls on Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George to held facilitate dialogue



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    SNAP Midwest Director Peter Isely stood with abuse victims outside Chicago Archdiocese headquarters on Friday morning.

    The group SNAP -- the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests -- wants a meeting with the newly-elected pontiff.

    The group's midwest director in Chicago on Friday called for a new rule mandating abusive priests be turned over to the police.

    “We want to begin a new dialogue with him, and with the church we want to begin a real dialogue about prevention of child sexual abuse," Peter Isely said outside the Chicago archdiocesan headquarters.

    He was flanked by a small number of men and women abused as children asking for action to be taken against priests who have mistreated children.

    Gregorio Borgia/AP

    "Right now if you're a priest in most parts of the world, and you have been known by your bishop to have raped or sexually assaulted a child, you get to remain in the priesthood and in most of these cases you're remaining in ministry working with children and families," Isely said.

    Isely stated that the majority of priests within the church are working on behalf of children, but there is still a need to "turn a new page" and set rules for those who aren’t.

    The group is also calling on Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George to aid them in setting up a meeting with the pope.

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    "There has probably been more progress in 15 years than there has been in 15 centuries," Isely said.

    Group members said they're encouraged by the pope’s choice of "Francis" as his namesake because St. Francis was one of the greatest reformers in church history and stood for justice.