A message from SNAPDFW’s facilitator, Lisa Kendzior
Acknowledge your courage
It takes courage to acknowledge that we’ve been abused and it is not easy to even admit it to ourselves. Just browsing this website is a big step.
Know that you are not alone!
If you’ve been victimized by clergy, please know that you are not alone. You can get better. You can reach out to others who’ve been hurt just like you have.
Together, we can heal one another.
SNAP and Boston-based research group BishopAccountability.org together are disclosing this newly-uncovered 18-page report by a Philadelphia grand jury. It resulted from a 2001-2003 investigation of abuse and cover-up in the Philadelphia Archdiocese -- preceding the 2005 and 2011 reports. Its harsh conclusions were sealed by a judge until the second grand jury investigation in 2005. Its findings were given to that subsequent grand jury.
Child endangerment charges, however, did not result until the 3rd grand jury recently indicted the diocese and its key administrator in the recent report.
Read the 2001 Grand Jury report (PDF)
Event: Victims disclose a THIRD Philly grand jury report
SNAP statement on newly-disclosed THIRD Philly grand jury report on clergy sex cover-ups
Fact sheet on the FIRST grand jury report (from 2002-03, previously undisclosed) on clergy sex crimes and cover ups in the Philadelphia Archdiocese
Read the story of the 2011 grand jury posted on this site ...
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The settlement is one of the largest in the Catholic church's sweeping sex abuse scandal.
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However, despite the American Catholic hierarchy's repeated pledges to be “open and transparent” in clergy sexual abuse cases, the Catholic Religious order suspending Corapi failed to announce the move, only doing so in reaction to Corapi self-righteously announcing the suspension himself in an apparent ploy to play the media in his own defense.
"Catholics deserve better. The vulnerable need better. Bishops have promised better. But secrecy about alleged sexual misconduct continues to be “job one” for many Catholic officials." -- David Clohessy, SNAP national director
Urging anyone with any information or suspicions about Corapi to contact criminal authorities, not church authorities,SNAP director David Clohessy said,
Catholics deserve better. The vulnerable need better. Bishops have promised better. But secrecy about alleged sexual misconduct continues to be “job one” for many Catholic officials.
We've long been skeptical of these sort of 'freelance,' traveling priests who seem to foster a cult of personality and apparently get little or no real supervision.
Popular and charismatic priests have extraordinary power over devout Catholics, including adults. It's important to remember that Catholics are raised from birth to think of priests as holy, celibate men who can forgive sins and get us into heaven. This gives priests tremendous power over lay people.
Corapi, though apparently not accused of molesting kids, seems a lot like Fr. Ken Roberts of Dallas, who also claimed to have overcome a life of debauchery and became religious, then traveled the country engaging in sexual misconduct.
We hope that anyone who saw, suspected or suffered crimes or misdeeds by Corapi finds the strength to come forward and the wisdom to contact independent sources of help – police, prosecutors, therapists, loved ones and support groups like ours – instead of church officials.
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Germans who were sexually abused as children will now have up to 30 years after their 21st birthday to bring their perpetrators before the courts.
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Has the Zero-Tolerance policy been an unmitigated success in preventing perpetrators from having access to new victims? NO, mainly because secretly the church hierarchy is still completely mobilized to protect their own political power in the church – nothing else matters to them." -- James Jenkins, Ph.D
James Jenkins, as chair of the SF archdiocesan review board from 2000-05, was closely involved in the Roman hierarchy's response to the beginnings of the 2002 US priest sex abuse crisis.
In his guest opinion on the NSAC website, Jenkins reports that "no-tolerance" was a ploy, and has largely failed.
He ends his insider analysis saying, "History will continue to repeat itself until Catholics take matters into their own hands and forever reform the priesthood from parish to pope, as we have known it."
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The lawsuits mirror accusations made by city prosecutors in a grand jury report last month that led several priests to be charged with rape and, in a rare move, a church official to be charged with child endangerment.
Monday's suit, filed by a 32-year-old Arizona man, is the second that names the late Monsignor John E. Gillespie as the abuser. A 2005 grand jury report said Gillespie was alleged to have committed abuse, but frustrated prosecutors concluded the deadlines had passed to file criminal charges.
The "John Doe" who sued Monday said Gillespie had abused him from 1988 to 1991, when he was an altar boy at the Our Lady of Calvary parish in northeast Philadelphia. Gillespie continued to work around children despite repeated complaints to the archdiocese, and even after Gillespie was sent for sex-abuse treatment sometime before 1991, the suit said.
The 2005 Philadelphia grand jury report alleges that Gillespie's abuse dated as far back as 1957. He resigned from his parish assignment in 2000, after then-Archbishop Anthony Bevilacqua determined he was a risk, but remained active in ministry, the suit said.
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The nuns say they have tried for more than five years to withdraw from the Boston archdiocese pension fund so they could set up a separate, pension plan for their U.S. lay employees.
The nuns claim in their lawsuit that the trustees, including O'Malley, did not keep separate records for the separate groups in the fund, which has complicated efforts to get a full accounting.
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"This is huge," said plaintiff attorney Jeff Anderson.
The court said that the plaintiff sufficiently pleaded rape and sexual abuse of children as “…cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment” and crimes against humanity.
The suit names a US Catholic cardinal (Roger Mahoney of Los Angeles) and a Mexican cardinal, as well as the alleged predator, a priest for their roles in the sexual abuse of a Mexican man as a boy in 1997.
The decision means the California court will hear claims about sexual abuse that occurred in Mexico, with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles named as a defendant.
The Alien Tort Statute was enacted by the first US Congress in 1789. It reads in its entirety: “The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of any civil action by an alien for a tort only, committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. sec.1350.
It has been used to target human rights violations in a number of contexts, but is reportedly the first time the law has been used against the Catholic church.
The attorneys for the plaintiffs are Jeff Anderson & Associates in St. Paul, Mn.
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Despite much tearful and heart wrenching testimony by survivors before legislative committees, the Roman Catholic Church, as usual, lobbied against the statute's change.
The bill now heads to Gov. Bob McDonnell, who is Catholic. In a news release earlier today, SNAP president Barbara Blaine said, "We hope the Governor understands that this kind of reform is a cost effective way to prevent crimes and protect children, and signs the measure promptly."
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But only days before Mahoney is to step down, new details in the church sex abuse scandal in LA have come to light.
It has been revealed that an admitted priest abuser, Martin O'Loghlen, was reassigned by Mahoney's vicar of clergy to a new parish. In addition, the admitted pedophile was appointed to the sexual abuse advisory panel of the Los Angeles Archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church under Mahoney. Maybe you should read that sentence again.
It gets better:
On the same day -- Feb 10th, just ten days ago -- that a Grand Jury indicted the diocese of Philadelphia, two cardinals and the director of clergy for child endangerment -- the first, ever, criminal indictment of Roman hierarchs for covering up abuse -- Mahony fired both the pedophile, and his boss, spouting rhetoric about how important protecting children is to him.
The priest in question, Martin O'Loghlen, was abruptly fired Feb. 10 from his post at a parish in San Dimas, CA. The next day, Feb 11 -- the day after the Philadelphia Grand Jury report was published --- O'Loghlen's boss lost his job as well. Mahony accepted the resignation of Michael Meyers, the monsignor vicar of clergy for the archdiocese.
Myers was directly responsible for vetting priests who are assigned to parishes when O'Loghlen was reassigned. Meyers is the equivalent in LA of the Philly vicar of priests facing 14 years in prison if convicted under the Grand Jury indictment for child endangerment. And Meyers worked for Mahoney -- until a few days ago. So did the pedophile.
Mahoney was alerted that a story was about to be published in the NY Times about O'Laughlen on Feb. 10 by LA Times reporter Jeniffer Medina. Medina called on the 10th. Mahoney fired 0'Lauglin the same day, and Meyers the next day. Medina's story was published on the 12th.
Did you really think it was safe to go back in the water?
Read the full story: New chapter in church sex abuse scandal is written in Cardinal Roger Mahony's final weeks in the LA Times ...Read SNAP director David Clohessy's comments: First Philadelphia, Now Los Angeles: David Clohessy on Rotten Culture of Lies, Secrets, and Silence at Heart of Abuse Crisis on the Bishops Accountability website ...Read: SNAP Executive Director David Clohessy's full Statement regarding Philadelphia Grand Jury Report on the SNAP national website ...Read: Los Angeles Archdiocese to Dismiss Priest Over Admission of Molesting Girl by NY Times reporter Jennifer Medina ...
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The suit also says that in 2005, the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office released the Report of the Grand Jury ("2005 Grand Jury Report"), which had investigated child sexual abuse by Philadelphia Archdiocese priests and documented the Archdiocese's cover up of abuse.
That 2005 Report stated: "To protect themselves from negative publicity or expensive lawsuits - while keeping abusive priests active - the Cardinals and their aides hid the priests' crimes from parishioners, police, and the general public. They employed a variety of tactics to accomplish this end."
The 2011 Grand Jury Report, reported here yesterday, establishes that the Archdiocese, under Cardinal Rigali, has made small changes, but continues to tolerate and actively conceal the sexual abuse of children by Archdiocese priests for the benefit of the Archdiocese.
David Clohessy, Executive Director of SNAP, in a letter to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops about this suit, and these facts concerning the 2005 and 2011 Grand Jury Reports, said,
"No Catholic hierarchy in America has had more incentive more recently to reform its handling of clergy sex cases than the Philadelphia archdiocese. But it clearly still hasn't.
So common sense suggests that other dioceses that have experienced even less controversy and scrutiny and criticism are treating victims as or more callously."
Read the charges on the Abuse Tracker website ... : John Doe 10 v. Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Cardinal Bevilacqua, Cardinal Rigali, Msgr. Lynn, Satchell, Fr Cochrane, et al. ...
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The Milwaukee archdiocese, faced with a flood of child sex lawsuits, filed for bankruptcy last month.
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Following immediately on yesterday's Philadelphia Grand Jury indictment of a Roman hierarch charged with endangering children by covering up abuse, today's suit will be the second such charge. SNAP hopes the cases will cause a cascade of other cities beginning to address the crisis, not only at the individual perpetrator level, but at its source -- i.e. the American Roman church hierarchy.
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"It's believed to be the first time a high-ranking Catholic official has been accused of being criminally accountable for covering up priest abuse. . . .As Bevilacqua's secretary for clergy, he was the Archdiocese's personnel director and responsible for investigating reports of priest sexual abuse from 1992 until 2004." -- Philadelphia Daily News
"Msgr. Lynn has a long history of transferring abusive priests to unsuspecting parishes." -- Report of the Philadelphia Grand Jury
Read the full report of the Philadelphia Grand Jury ...
Read the Village Voice article: Priest/Sex Abuse Scandal Takes Startling Turn: Catholic Church Official Faces Criminal Charges for Coverup ...
Read the National Survivor Advocates Coalition Statement -- NSAC to Catholics: Drop the Blindfolds, Get Educated ...
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Calling the sexual abuse scandal "a crisis without precedent" the appeal from the 143 German professors, published in the Friday edition of the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, called on the church's leadership to stop excluding gay couples and remarried Christians.
"The Church also needs married priests and women holding positions in the clergy," the appeal said—in clear defiance of the Vatican's dogmas. The theologians also called for, "a more democratic and less centralized church, including giving the faithful a say in appointing their priests and bishops."
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A 1997 article in the Dallas Morning News said:
"An admitted child molester has supervised Catholic altar boys in Southern California and Dallas for much of the last two decades, government records and interviews show."
Prior to 1997, Dallas diocese officials did not require criminal background checks of all prospective volunteers and had no plans to do so. Following publicity for this case, the Diocese changed its policy.
The man, Dennis Jost, is known to have still attended the same church where he worked with altar boys as late as 2005, and is known to have lived and frequented Dallas area churches and businesses as late as 2010.
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Survivor Connections does not track rumor or hearsay. The sole purpose of maintaining this information is to allow survivors of the same perpetrator the opportunity to reach each other.
The database is national and soon will be international in scope. By its nature it is not - and never will be - open to public access. Information is submitted by regular (“snail”) mail, rather than email for security reasons. We do not accept anonymous allegations.
The founders of the database are survivor Frank Fitzpatrick and wife Sara. Only Frank and Sara, and one other trusted survivor does data entry for the database that contains the names of perpetrators, or the mailing list of survivors and supporters who have contacted Survivor Connections.
Concerning confidentiality, the site says:
"No one anywhere has, or ever will have “on-line” access. Our records are private, personal, and confidential. They will remain so in order for us to function as a support system for survivors of sexual assault."
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Brown says "Zeller’s note should be mandatory reading for the many religious leaders, including many Baptist leaders, and for many in the pews as well, who have repeatedly dismissed and minimized the pain of those who suffered such abuse, and who have attacked and smeared those who sought to report abuse."
Read Bill Zeller's note in its entirety on the Stop Baptist Predators blog ...
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"Against a backdrop of criminal probes related to alleged financial misconduct both in the Vatican Bank and at the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the Vatican’s wealthy missionary department better known as “Propaganda Fide”, Pope Benedict XVI today created a new in-house watchdog to promote compliance with international rules against financing terrorism, money-laundering, insider trading and market abuse." -- 30 Dec 2010 - John Allen, National Catholic Reporter
"David Clohessy, executive director of SNAP, called on the pope to clear himself by revealing all the records for the period when he was handling sex abuse cases for the Vatican." -- 31 Dec 2010, World Magazine
But the Vatican, whose bank is the focus of a money laundering investigation launched in September, enacted laws on 30 December to bring it in line with international standards on financial transparency, terrorism prevention, and fraud.
It was the biggest single action ever taken by the Vatican to meet international demands for more financial transparency.
- 13 years, no response to UN request for report on how Vatican handles child abuse.
- 3 months, pope enacts new transparency laws when international banking community seizes its cash.
SNAPDFW asks: Why quick 'transparency' of bank records, but not of child abuse records?
Read: 'Vatican enacts new banking laws' in the Irish Times ...
Read: 'Vatican breaks UN treaty on children's safety; SNAP responds' on the SNAP national website ...
Download: The 16 page executive summary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child from the UNICEF website ...
For more on the CRC, visit Unite for Children on the UNICEF website ...
Then you make the call.
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Vatican 13 years delinquent in submitting legally required UN report on 'Rights of the Child' in July of this year we reported on the unconscionable ignoring by the Vatican of a UN request for a report on Vatican handling of child abuse.
In this month's issue of Conscience -- The News Journal of Catholic Opinion -- the journal reports that although a Vatican representative said in a UN meeting before July that the report was being prepared as they spoke, here it is December, and once again, the Vatican has failed not only to honor the UN request for the 13th year, but even to honor its own word that it would soon produce it.
The Vatican strategy: Skewing the numbers, redefining "child"
In a statement made in July 2010, SNAP national reported on the Vatican's obstinate ignoring of the UN Committee on Rights of the Child. At the end of that report, there is a link to a UN Webcast of a spoken statement made by a Vatican representative during the twelfth session of the UN Human Rights Council. You may view that Webcast (link at the end of this item) and read the transcript which we have prepared from it.
In that statement, the Vatican priest-spokesman says that the report which the Vatican has ignored submitting for 13 years, "is finalized." That was July. This December. No report, still.
In this still-unsubmitted report, the "holy see" spokesman said, some 13 years after being asked for it, that "a paragraph will be dedicated to the problem of child abuse by Catholic clergy."
That's right -- "a paragraph."
The speaker then reads into the record the following unbelievable, but verbatim statement:
"While many speak of child abuse as pedophilia, it would be more correct to speak of ephebophilia being a homosexual attraction to an adolescent male.
"Of all priests involved in the abuses, 80 to 90 percent belong to this sexual orientation minority which is sexually engaged with adolescent boys between the age of 11 and 17 years old."
This suggests to the United Nations that the definition of "child" be reserved for individuals under the age of 11, and that "adolescent" refer to the age group 11 to 17.
Most likely, these are the mind-boggling definitions the priest had in mind when his statement began systematically blaming the sexual abuse crisis on -- instead of his own church and colleagues -- in order of appearance: Protestants, Jews, school teachers, family members, babysitters, neighbors, family friends or relatives, and even other children!
We have stated it here before, and reiterate now: The Roman Catholic Church, and the popes/priests/bishops who run it, have become morally bankrupt. That is now in the record of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations.
Read it and/or watch it for yourself:
Listen to the Webcast here ...
Read the Webcast transcript ...
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