Welcome, Survivors and Supporters! 
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.

Vatican top cop on abuse admitted failing to notify police, parishioners; follows party line 
Vatican chief inquisitor, William Levada admitted to authorities in 2006 that he had failed to notify police of allegations of abuse by priests in his charge. But records reported today in the New York Times show he followed Vatican policy to protect suspected priest abusers, and to obfuscate, delay and generally ignore the welfare of both victims and their communities alike. Instead, the former archbishop of San Francisco, before taking Ratzinger's old Vatican job, allowed suspected pedophile priests to continue.

Levada struggled, during the questioning, to recall why he had further chosen not to alert parishioners of these priests.
"But an examination of his record, pieced together from interviews and a review of thousands of pages of court documents, show that he generally followed the prevailing practice of the church hierarchy, often giving accused priests the benefit of the doubt and being reluctant to remove them from ministry." -- NY Times, 06 May 2010.
Read "Cardinal has Mixed Record on Abuse Cases" in today's NYTimes ...

[ view entry ] ( 805 views )   |  permalink
Vatican's chief of cardinals one of Maciel's "powerful protectors in the Roman Curia," says NY Times and NCR 
According to an article in today's NY Times, Vatican scapegoat, and priest-rapist Marcial Maciel had powerful protectors in the Roman Curia.

For years, Maciel had cultivated these powerful allies among the cardinals, through gifts and cash donations. This is according to reporting by Jason Berry in the National Catholic Reporter. Mr. Berry is co-author of a book about (Maciel's) order and helped break the story of the priest’s abuses.

"Chief among these allies was the former Vatican secretary of state and, by office, the most powerful man next to Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, now the dean of the College of Cardinals and an outspoken defender of Benedict."

"Until Pope Benedict confronts Sodano’s role in the cover-up of Maciel, I don’t see how he can move beyond the crisis that has engulfed his papacy,” Mr. Berry said.
Read "Abuse case ... Vatican politics" in today's NY Times ...
Read "Money paved the way for Maciel's influence in the Vatican" by Jason Berry in NPROnline ...

[ view entry ] ( 731 views )   |  permalink
Pope opts for a few "carefully orchestrated" words over safety of children, says SNAP's Clohessy 
"With just two or three carefully orchestrated sentences over a few days, Benedict leaves the impression that he's doing something about an intractable, decades-old crisis. ...

Keep in mind that the pope is the CEO of a global monarchy with a very troubling track record when it comes to the safety of kids." -- SNAP Executive Director David Clohessy 02 May 2010

Read the entire article by SNAP's David Clohessy in the Charleston, SC Post & Courier ...

[ view entry ] ( 780 views )   |  permalink
NCR Editorial spotlights abuse of power, ignoring of victims by Roman hierarchy 
In an editorial published Friday, the National Catholic Reporter calls attention to "ongoing problem that, at its core, has to do with power and authority and how it is used in the church."
"A central, sad truth runs through the story that has been unraveling for the past 25 years: When the community most needed its leaders to act as pastors they chose instead to act as princes, ignoring the problem all around them while employing every means available to spare the realm." -- National Catholic Reporter
Read the full editorial in NCROnline ...

[ view entry ] ( 736 views )   |  permalink
Vatican verbally assaults, scapegoats one of its own in words that ring of self-indictment; SNAP responds 
A seemingly indignant pope vitiated the former czar of the Legionaries of Christ, priest Marcial Maciel, using words that could be applied to the Vatican itself.

The pope appointed a personal delegate to run the neo-conservative band of Roman priests, refusing to disband Maciel's group, well known for providing the church with more priests and money. The Legionaries of Christ, is a hugely wealthy Mexican order founded by criminal paedophile, Maciel. The group exerted major influence in the Vatican during the reign of John Paul II.

The Vatican statement was unequivocal in its tough denunciation of Maciel's personal crimes and deception, but it placed the blame almost entirely on him, making no mention of any complicity on the part of Vatican officials.

Those officials had held up Maciel as a model for the faithful and implied that most of the Legionaries' members were kept in the dark about their leader's crimes.
"In announcing the papal takeover, the Vatican excoriated Maciel for creating a 'system of power' built on silence, deceit and obedience that enabled him to lead a double life "devoid of any scruples and authentic sense of religion" and allowed him to abuse young boys unchecked.

"'By pushing away and casting doubt upon all those who questioned his behavior, and the false belief that he wasn't doing harm to the good of the Legion, he created around him a defense mechanism that made him unassailable for a long period, making it difficult to know his true life,'" the Vatican said."

Read the AP story on the scapegoating of Maciel in the Washington Post ...
Read SNAP director David Clohessy's response ...

[ view entry ] ( 843 views )   |  permalink
Norwegian bishop and child abuser sent to Rome, is "sheltered by nuns;" superior threatens to shred evidence 
A Norwegian bishop, Georg Müller, who resigned last summer after confessing to having sexually molested an underage boy, has been transferred to Rome where Norwegian news outlet The Foreigner reports that he "is being sheltered by nuns."

Bernt Eidsvig, Müller's successor, is refusing to break confidentiality, as Norway's Roman Catholic priest sex abuse scandal escalates.

Eidsvig says he won’t accept any request by authorities to see the confidential records concerning two recent cases, telling the news outlet Dagbladet he’ll shred the evidence if the Director of Public Prosecution asks. He also failed to alert police when he first heard about Müller’s crime.

Finn Wagle, former Bishop of Nidaros in Trondheim and head of the Bishops in the Norwegian Church, thinks the Catholic Church’s silence is a crime.
Read the story in English in the Norwegian news ...

[ view entry ] ( 1944 views )   |  permalink
Vatican chief inquisitor ignored pleas from victim's family of child abuse while archbishop of San Francisco 
The Vatican's high-powered American lawyer says Vatican Inquisitor/boss William Levada handled a case of child molestation "properly by the era's norms."

In 1995 the victim's aunt reported the molestation of her 13 year old nephew by a priest under Leveda's jurisdiction in a letter sent to then archbishop of San Francisco Levada. Levada admitted that he never reported the abuse to police.

The Vatican's lawyer, citing that the pedophile priest was not caught a second time, said of Levada's handling of the report that "in this case, the old approach did work."

What did not "work," however, were the pleas of the victim's family for mercy from the church and justice from the law when the abuse was reported. Levada ignored her pleas, and left the priest in his job aa pastor of the SF Cathedral until 2002, when "police started to investigate."
"She begged Levada to "not let this man slip through the cracks ..."

The distraught aunt wrote Levada to say the priest, Milton Walsh, had molested her nephew in 1984 and complained that the priest was still pastor of St. Mary's Cathedral in 1995.

She begged Levada to "not let this man slip through the cracks," according to a copy of the Sept. 20, 1995, letter provided by the victim's attorney.

Read the entire story in the San Francisco Chronicle ...

[ view entry ] ( 1673 views )   |  permalink
Papal monarchy has outlived its service to evangelization, say advocates of sexual abuse survivors 
Pope Benedict XVI is a good man. He has served the Church long and well. It takes nothing away from his goodness to suggest that he should resign his office. Nine of his predecessors have resigned, most for the good of the Church.[1] The clerical sex abuse crisis that now exposes a corrupt pattern and practice of a system has escaped and confused many good, brilliant people and left generations paralyzed. There is no need to point fingers.
"The monarchy that rules the church has outlived its service in the evangelization of peoples ..."

However, the Roman Catholic Church is in a period of Reformation as profound (and breathtaking) as any its history has ever recorded. The voluntary resignation of Pope Benedict XVI would be a gesture that would match the epic challenge that faces Catholicism today. Such leadership would break the pattern and practice that holds the church hostage to a past that no longer serves the Christian message. The monarchy that rules the church has outlived its service in the evangelization of peoples, an evangelization that Paul the apostle taught and that Pope John Paul II championed. The People of God, hierarchy included, are shackled by a secret system designed to control rather than free them. -- Richard Sipe, 4/26/2010

Explore the National Survivor Advocates Coalition Website ...
Explore the Richard Sipe Website ...

[ view entry ] ( 854 views )   |  permalink
Florida legislature passes bill to eliminate statute of limitations 
The Florida legislature has sent a bill for the governor's signature that would lift statutes of limitations for pursuing criminal or civil sexual abuse cases in which victims are younger than 16 at the time of the abuse.
Read the AP story in the Miami Herald ...
Read SNAP response ...

[ view entry ] ( 771 views )   |  permalink
"How do some of us stay in the Church?" Huffington Post commentator hopes "for the return of miracle" 
"How do some of us stay in the Church? In grief, in sadness, with a resolve not to be shut out by those who say they are speaking in the name of the Father. We just don't believe them. The Church is not an institution; it is the people, people who are now wounded and scandalized, not only by the sexual crimes of priests, but more important, by the cover-up by those in power. In 1959 the election of Pope John XXIII was a surprise, a kind of miracle. It happened once. It could happen again. We wait, in stubborn hope, for the return of miracle. We want to make sure some of us are at home when it happens." -- Huffington Press commentator Mary C. Gordon

Read "Why I Stay: A Parable from a Progressive Catholic" in today's Huffington Post ...

[ view entry ] ( 769 views )   |  permalink
One in four German Catholics expected to leave the church due to sex abuse by priests 
British news outlet The Tablet reports today that a survey conducted in Germany shows a huge increase in the number of Catholics registering their decision to formally leave the Church due to what analysts are calling the worst scandal to hit the Roman hierarchy in history.
"One in four German Catholics – more than six million faithful – is expected to leave the Church because of the recent scandals, particularly in the Catholic south of the country, a survey has claimed. The poll, in the Frankfurter Rundschau, said that in the historic Bavarian town of Bamberg some 1,400 people a month have been registering their decision to formally leave the Church – seven times the normal rate of 200. In the nearby city of Würzburg 1,233 per month are leaving, instead of the average of 407." -- The Tablet, 26 April 2010.

Read this and other news of the crisis in The Tablet today ...

[ view entry ] ( 754 views )   |  permalink
Deaf survivor of Milwaukee priest sexual abuse joins SNAP in news conference  
Arthur Budzinski, a deaf man who said he was sexually assaulted and raped by convicted Milwaukee priest Lawrence Murphy, stood with SNAP Midwest director Peter Isley at a news conference Thursday.
"Fr. Murphey may have stolen our bodies, but the archbishops, the cardinals and the popes stole our voices." -- Arthur Budzinski, deaf victim of Milwaukee abuse
See the CNN video of the news conference on the SNAPDFW multimedia page ...

[ view entry ] ( 818 views )   |  permalink
Forbes portrays Vatican sex abuse crisis as worst in church history 
An article published Saturday in Forbes quotes the National Catholic Reporter as having characterized the Roman Church as suffering its "largest institutional crisis in centuries."
"The Catholic Church's sex abuse scandal has passed a media tipping point. Over the past three years it has accounted for 42% of all nightly network news coverage devoted to the pope and the church, according to data from The Tyndall Report." -- Forbes, 23 Apr 2010
Read the story in Forbes online ...

[ view entry ] ( 714 views )   |  permalink
Ex-priest says he reported Belgian bishop's sex abuse to church authorities "years ago" 
In an Associated Press story filed this morning, a retired priest says he told church authorities years ago about allegations that Belgium's longest-serving bishop abused a boy. But bishop he was "stonewalled." The Belgian bishop was forced to resign Friday.

An earlier story named another priest in the allegation, but it was later reported that the abusers he reported did not include the Belgian bishop.
Read the AP story on the Forbes Website ...

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS STORY. Check back soon for updated information.

[ view entry ] ( 769 views )   |  permalink
Belgian bishop quits over sex abuse 
In a statement issued by the Vatican on Friday, Roger Vangheluwe, 73, the bishop of Bruges in Belgium since 1984, admitted to sexually abusing a young person in his "close entourage."

In the prepared statement Vangheluwe said that he abused “a young man in my close entourage ... when I was still a simple priest and for a while when I began as a bishop.”

The disclosure makes Vangheluwe the latest cleric, and the fourth bishop to quit in a spreading abuse scandal.
Read the story in today's NYTimes ...

[ view entry ] ( 720 views )   |  permalink
Deaf victim's letter instrumental in federal lawsuit targeting top Vatican command for engineering coverup 
Pamela Meyer (pictured) stands with members of SNAP outside the federal courthouse in Milwaukee yesterday where a federal law suit was filed accusing Pope Benedict XVI and senior Vatican officials of failing to defrock Rev. Lawrence Murphy, despite allegations he molested at least 200 deaf children from 1950 to 1975. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

The suit is significant because it is aimed at the highest reaches of the Roman Catholic Church, and involves Cardinal Angelo Sodano, a strong defender of Pope Benedict XVI's handling of the global clergy sexual abuse crisis and a man whose own record on a separate high-profile case has come under scrutiny. A letter from a victim has emerged sent directly to Sodano a year before the Vatican admitted learning of the Murphy case.

The defendants in the lawsuit are Ratzinger, Sodano, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone and the Holy See, identified as the state of the Vatican City. Bertone was Ratzinger's deputy at the time and is now the Vatican's secretary of state.

Read the full AP Story on Google News ...

[ view entry ] ( 716 views )   |  permalink
German bishop resigns due to charges that he personally abused minors and robbed orphanages 
Embattled German Bishop Walter Mixa submitted an offer of resignation to the Vatican on Wednesday amid allegations that he physically abused children and misappropriated Church funds. German commentators welcome the move, saying it sparks hopes of greater transparency in the Catholic Church's abuse investigation.

In a letter written to Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday, German Bishop Walter Mixa tendered his resignation over allegations of physical abuse and financial misconduct within the Augsburg Diocese.

German press across the entire spectrum of political opinions responded en masse with relief. German publication Der Speigel today published quotes from several German news outlets:

The conservative daily Die Welt writes:
"Right now, Mixa is ill-suited to play the role of pastor and head of a large diocese. He has continued to refuse to give candid explanations, preferring to hide behind vague pleas for forgiveness for everything and nothing."

The center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung writes (in an updated online version):
"Finally. Finally, Walter Mixa, the bishop on the edge, is stepping down. ...(I)t is unclear how violently he ... struck children in his care and how deeply he dug into the coffers of the local orphanage foundation."

The center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes:
"It doesn't happen every day that bishops speak about other bishops in public. It is even rarer for them to publicly criticize one another. And it is truly remarkable that two bishops have called on a third bishop (Mixa) to temporarily step down from office."

"The whole affair and his behavior is still weighing on the Church and damage the credibility of any of the bishops' statements."

The center-left Berliner Zeitung writes:
"These days, in real life, the word 'Catholic' stands for physically abusive or lustful priests. People are leaving the Church in droves. ... In real life, Mixa has been very, very slow, on the one hand, to understand that his office does not entitle him to beat children, spend donation money on art, kitsch and wine -- and, on the other, to resign."
Read the entire story and all German press quotes in today's Der Speigel ...

[ view entry ] ( 644 views )   |  permalink
Vatican accepts resignation of 3rd Irish bishop implicated in pedophile cover-up 
The Irish Times, citing Vatican sources, confirmed yesterday that Benedict XVI is this morning expected to formally accept the resignation of Bishop Jim Moriarty of Kildare and Leighlin.
Read the story in today's Irish Times ...
Read the story of the resignations in the Washington Post today ...

[ view entry ] ( 739 views )   |  permalink
Following protests by SNAP, Cardinal who praised cover-up bows out of 1st Latin Rite mass in DC in half a century 
The former high-up Vatican official, Dario Castrillon-Hoyos, who officially praised a convicted bishop for protecting a rapist priest -- and claimed he was directed by the former pope to do so -- has canceled plans to celebrate a latin mass in Washington, DC after sharp pressure on the archbishop of Washington from SNAP and other victim advocacy groups to block his participation. SNAP is glad Hoyos bowed out, but criticizes Vatican and Archdiocese of Washington for failing to intervene.

The National Catholic Reporter yesterday said:
SNAP, the Saint Louis-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said April 20 that it had asked Pope Benedict “to forbid Castrillon-Hoyos from celebrating the Mass.

“When wrong-doers like Castrillon-Hoyos get rewarded by the Catholic hierarchy, church employees everywhere see that wrongdoing is sanctioned,” SNAP stated.

Washington archdiocesan spokeswoman Susan Gibbs told Catholic News Service April 20 she didn't expect Archbishop Wuerl to intercede, because "cardinals have universal faculties and the archdiocese is not a sponsor of this event."

Following the announcement that Castrillon-Hoyos had bowed out, SNAP officials said they were relieved the cardinal wouldn't be the celebrant but expressed disappointment that neither the Vatican nor the Archdiocese of Washington intervened in this matter." -- National Catholic Reporter, April 21, 2010

Read the UPI story from yesterday evening ...
Read the report in the National Catholic Reporter ...

[ view entry ] ( 714 views )   |  permalink
SNAP urges archbishop of Washington to forbid Vatican official who endorsed coverup from leading mass in DC 
Dear Archbishop Wuerl:

We urge you to forbid a controversial church official who clearly endorses law-breaking and irresponsible behavior from leading a mass in your archdiocese this weekend.

You know all of the disturbing facts about Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, a former Vatican official who is coming here in just a few days:
  • He thanked and congratulated a French bishop, in a letter he wrote in 2001, for hiding a sexually abusive priest.
  • He allegedly was authorized to send that same letter to bishops across the globe.
  • He defended his 2001 letter just days ago at a conference in Spain, arguing that the French bishop couldn't tell police about a predator priest because he learned about the crimes in the confessional. The French bishop himself, however, contradicted this claim, admitting that the priest admitted his crimes in a normal conversation, which is not a privileged communication according to church rules.
  • He now claims, without providing any evidence, that he wrote the letter endorsing the French bishop with the approval of the late Pope John Paul II.
  • He has expressed no remorse for his letter or his deceptive comments.
  • He has made similarly hurtful comments about clergy sex crimes and cover-ups in the recent past.
  • It should go without saying that Castrillon-Hoyos' words and deeds are very hurtful to clergy abuse victims, Catholics, and anyone who cares about kids.
Giving him the honor of leading this mass is problematic in two ways. First, it rewards wrong-doing, and that in turn encourages future wrong-doing. Second, it rubs salt into the already-deep and still-fresh wounds of millions of hurting Catholics and thousands of hurting victims.

Read the entire SNAP letter on the national Website ...

[ view entry ] ( 652 views )   |  permalink
Vatican official who praised felon bishop for obstructing justice for rapist-priest to lead US high mass honoring pope; SNAP protests 
"I congratulate you for not denouncing (a convicted, rapist priest) to the civil administration." -- Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos

According to a SNAP national press release issued earlier this morning, on April 24, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in northwest Washington, Castrillon Hoyes is scheduled lead a “Solemn Pontifical Mass” at the shrine’s high altar. The mass is considered an historic event since it will be the first of its kind since the Basilica was founded. The shrine is considered “America’s Catholic Church” and is the largest church in North America.

Castrillon Hoyos proudly claimed that his praise of the felon bishop Pierre Pican of the Bayeux-Lisieux, convicted of withholding evidence about a convicted priest rapist in his diocese, was approved by previous pope Karol Wojtyla, John Paul II in a letter the cardinal was instructed by JPII to send to all French bishops.

Later today, SNAP will conduct a news conference via teleconference protesting the high mass by Hoyos.

Read the full press release on the SNAP National Website ...;

[ view entry ] ( 724 views )   |  permalink

<<First <Back | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | Next> Last>>