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.
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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New Philly lawsuit reportedly will name cardinal and other hierarchs as co-conspirators in priest child abuse coverupSNAP announced earlier that at a sidewalk news conference later today, Monday, Feb.14 at 1:00 p.m., attorneys and clergy sex abuse victims will disclose and discuss a new civil lawsuit that charges more Philadelphia Catholic church officials with “conspiring” to conceal child sex crimes by two priests.
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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Right hand man of Philidelphia cardinal faces 1st ever criminal charges for hierarchy coverup of priest sexual abuseFacing up to 14 years in prison if convicted, Monsignor William J. Lynn, the Secretary for Clergy for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia under Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, was charged by a grand jury February 10th with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
"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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German Catholic theologians call for women priests, gay couples, elected clergy, and ending enforced celibacyIn the pope's own fatherland, where church attendance and applicants to the Catholic priesthood are dwindling at alarming rates due to the worldwide Catholic clergy sexual abuse crisis, University theologians are calling for a return to sanity with radical church reforms.
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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Dallas resident among sexual predators whose files were ordered released in San Diego diocese settlement in OctoberA 176 page file of a Dallas resident convicted of child abuse was released by the diocese of San Deigo following a ruling by a Los Angeles Superior Court in October. This is the largest collection of abuse-related documents ever obtained from a California diocese.
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 - confidential database of accused sexual predators may help connect victims of same perpSurvivor Connections, Inc. maintains a confidential database of rape, incest, sexual assault, and child molestation perpetrators who have been reported to the database by former victims, or the former victim’s supportive relatives. The database is password protected and encrypted, and cannot be accessed online.
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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Brilliant 27 year old doctoral student's suicide note about darkness that haunted him since being molested and raped as a childBelow is a link to the brilliant, but heart wrenching suicide note of childhood clergy abuse victim Bill Zeller. The posting is on Christa Browns blog "Stop Baptist Predators."
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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