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 BishopAccountability uncover evidence that there have been 3 PA grand jury clergy abuse reports since 2001SNAP has discovered evidence of a 3rd grand jury report, hushed by gag order until 2005, once again implicating the corrupt Philadelphia Roman Catholic diocese hierarchy in possible child endangerment.
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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Hundreds of Native Americans abused by priests as children receive landmark $166.1 million settlementJesuit priests agreed to pay $166.1 million to hundreds of Native Americans and Alaskan Natives who were abused at its schools around the Pacific Northwest.
The settlement is one of the largest in the Catholic church's sweeping sex abuse scandal.
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Freelance Catholic preacher-priest cult figure John Corapi secretly suspended following accusation of sexual abusePop Catholic televangelist and traveling preacher John Corapi has been placed on 'administrative leave' from priestly ministry following an accusation of sexual abuse against him.
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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4th Philadelphia lawsuit filed against Roman hierarchs for failing to protect children from sexual abuse by priestsThe Archdiocese of Philadelphia was hit Monday with the fourth in a series of new lawsuits that blame church officials for failing to protect children from sexually abusive priests.
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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Nuns sue Boston Archdiocese Cardinal and trustees for stalling on lay worker pension funds for over 5 yearsThe Massachusetts Supreme Court is being asked to settle an unusual dispute between The Daughters of St. Paul, a Catholic order of nuns, and Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley, trustee of a church-run pension fund.
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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US judge allows human rights statute to be used in international sex abuse case against Catholic hierarchsA federal judge in California has given thumbs-up to a lawsuit against two cardinals and a priest based on the Alien Tort Statute, enacted by the first US Congress in 1789.
"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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VA legislators extend statute of limitations on child abuse from 2 to 20 years; bill goes to Catholic governor for signatureThe Virginia General Assembly has passed legislation extending from two to 20 years the time allowed for sexual abuse victims to sue their attackers. The measure was part of a group of uncontested bills that were passed with little debate.
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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Reassigned Los Angeles pedophile priest fired, boss resigns after Philadelphia diocese indicted for child endangermentRoger Mahony, head priest/cardinal in the Roman Catholic diocese of Los Angeles is retiring within a week. On Mahoney's watch his archdiocese was forced into a $660-million settlement with 508 people who alleged they were abused by priests as children.
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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'Clueless' head US bishop Dolan, who denies abuse crisis, say's, 'Darn it,' his old archdiocese does a good jobTimothy Dolan, former Milwaukee archdiocese head for seven years -- as accusations of priestly misconduct grew -- told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel paper that charges against the archdiocese were "ludicrous." The Milwaukee archdiocese is charged with playing a financial shell game to hide $75 million plus an additional $55 million that allegedly went to a cemetery fund.
The Milwaukee archdiocese, faced with a flood of child sex lawsuits, filed for bankruptcy last month.
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