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.
“Today’s action by the Justices is an answer to the prayers of literally thousands of survivors of sexual abuse who finally have a real shot at obtaining justice, and the truth, about the complicity of Vatican leaders in covering up the criminal acts of Catholic priests against innocent children." -- Plaintiff attorney, victim advocate Jeff Anderson
Read the full news release on the SNAP Great Plains website ...
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Catholic group urges disenfranchised laity to send bishops a strong message by withholding Peter's PenceA group of distinguished Catholics, among whom are Fr. Thomas Doyle, and SNAPDFW's group facilitator, Lisa Kendzior, are calling on Catholics to send a strong message to their bishops in the only place it will be felt -- the collection basket.
"Catholics have no elections, recall procedures, or impeachment processes that allow them to replace those in authority. Withholding donations is the best way for a disenfranchised laity to send, with one voice, a message to church officials in the only language they understand--MONEY!
We urge Catholics to re-direct their Peter's Pence collection donation
on June 27 to a non-church charity of their choice.
The bishops have squandered our trust. We need to send them a strong message. We urge all Catholics to Send the Bishops a Message by withholding cash, check, and credit card donations on designated 'Withholding Sundays.'" -- Send the bishops a me$$age website.
Join the movement! Stop the outrage!
Visit the 'Send the bishops a me$$age" website NOW ...
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Testimony archdiocese sought to repress shows cardinal protected admitted pedophile priest from policeClaiming that church policy at the time was to withold church knowledge of pedophile priests from the law, and that the victims, being "illegal aliens," (direct quote from the deposition) had already left the country anyway, the head of the archdiocese of Los Angeles, Roger Mahony, commented on testimony he gave concerning the molestation of children under his care.
Speaking of the church hierarchy, of which he is a high ranking member, Mahony said,
"I believed ... in our ability to treat and monitor (the pedophile priest) effectively."
The archdiocese attempted unsuccessfully to have a judge seal the document from public view.
KTLA, Los Angeles, reports today that according to church documents, the priest, Michael Baker, told Mahony in 1986 at a priests' retreat that he had molested two young boys from 1978 to 1985. Mahony did not notify police and sent Baker to a residential facility that treated priests for sexual abuse problems.
In the years that followed, Baker was assigned to nine parishes but was barred from having one-on-one contact with minors. He violated those restrictions three times, according to church personnel file summaries previously released by the archdiocese.
Baker was not removed from the priesthood until 2000, after two men filed a lawsuit alleging he sexually molested them between 1984 and 1999. He is currently serving 10 years in prison for abusing children.
Responding for SNAP to Mahony's excuse for not reporting Baker to police because the children had already left the country, Barbara Blaine, President of SNAP, said:
"This is among the most absurd excuses we've ever heard a bishop make - that he refused to call police because an admitted predator claimed the victims had left the country. The legal status of children who are molested is irrevelant and it's shameful that Mahony would claim otherwise.
If, in fact, Fr. Baker's victims had left the US, Mahony's duty to call police was even greater, since the chances that the kids themselves would contact law enforcement was virtually nil."
Read the full story in the Los Angeles Times ...
Read the story on the KTLA website ...
Read SNAP President Barbara Blaine's response ...
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'Why I can't accept the pope's latest apology' - SNAP's Director comments on pope's year of priest speech
"No entity can effectively police itself, least of all an ancient, rigid, secretive, all-male monarchy with a widely-documented track record with predatory employees and complicit supervisors." -- SNAP Executive Director David Clohessy
Read Clohessy's complete article in Monday CNN news ...
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Law Remains Above the Law - Pedophile Protector Remains ArchPriest Under Vatican Diplomatic ImmunityDozens of protesters took to the sidewalks outside the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston Sunday morning to voice their opinions on Cardinal Bernard Law.
Law resigned as Boston’s archbishop in 2003 following the clergy sex abuse crisis. Area Catholics said he knew of sexual misconduct and covered it up.
Law was transferred to Rome after his resignation where the last eight years he has been the archbishop emeritus of Boston and archpriest of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.
Members of National Survivor Advocates Coalition, Speak Truth To Power and People of Conscience picketed outside the Cathedral Sunday while a special mass to honor couples celebrating their gold and silver wedding anniversaries was going on.
Protesters said they wanted to remind church goers that there was something wrong about Cardinal Law being allowed to maintain his position with the Vatican.
Read more on the SNAP Great Plains website ...
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Pope's apology to victims: The Devil made us do it, as thousands of priests gather in Rome to celebrate themselvesImplying that a world without priests is a world without God, the pope punctuated his long-awaited "apology" to the victims of priest rape and child abuse by blaming it on 'the enemy,' catholic jargon for the devil.
“It was to be expected that this new radiance of the priesthood would not be pleasing to the ‘enemy,’” Benedict XVI said. “He would have rather preferred to see it disappear, so that God would ultimately be driven out of the world.” - Pope Benedict XVI
"The term "the enemy" is a traditional Catholic way of referring to the Devil." -- National Catholic Reporter
"Tonight, the Pope passed up a perfect chance to:
- announce bold steps that actually safeguard children,
- urge thousands of priests to call police if they see or suspect or learn of child sex crimes, and
- acknowledge and thank the few, brave whistleblower priests like Fr. Thomas Doyle, Fr. James Scahill and others who have found the strength, courage and compassion to expose their corrupt, predatory colleagues and supervisors." -- David Clohessy, SNAP Executive Director
- Read about Benedict's "apology" in the NYTimes ...
- Read SNAP Director David Clohessy's response ...
- Read SNAP President Barbara Blaine's response ...
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Decades of Victims attend "Year of the Priest" in Rome, say lip servant pope must do more than "apologize"
Victim of sexual abuse by a priest, Joelle Casteix , member of U.S.-based Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), holds a banner during a news conference in downtown Rome June 8, 2010. -- Credit: Reuters/Tony Gentile
(Reuters) - Victims of sexual abuse by priests Tuesday demanded Pope Benedict take concrete steps to discipline clerics who have molested children, saying a public apology they expect this week from the pope will not be enough.
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SNAP director says focus of cardinal's trip to Ireland obscures real problem: a secretive, self-serving hierarchy
"Focusing on the laity, especially regarding mass attendance and confession, more than "misses the boat." The problem has been and remains a rigid, secretive, self-serving all-male monarchy that consistently puts its own comfort and reputation above the safety and well-being of its flock." -- David Clohessy, executive director of SNAP
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Clerical abuse shows Catholic church needs nothing less than total reform, says Australian Catholic bishopCalling the current crisis facing the Catholic Church arising out of sexual abuse "arguably the most serious challenge the Church has faced since the Reformation in the 16th century," an Australian bishop insists that a total systemic reform of Church structures is needed.
"An ecclesiastical environment which allowed such aberrant behaviour can no longer be tolerated." -- Pat Powers, Auxiliary Bishop, Australia April 23, 2010.
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Church pressure contributes to defeat of NY Child Victims Act for 5th consecutive year; SNAP director respondsOn Wednesday, all seven Republicans on the Codes Committee and two of the nine Democrats voted no on the state's proposed Child Victims Act, which would have allowed greater flexibility to victims of childhood sexual abuse in civil suits against their abusers.
Senator Jeffrey D. Klein of the Bronx and Westchester (was) one of the Democrats who opposed the measure, which had been vigorously opposed by Catholic officials.
The other Democrat who voted no was Senator Neil D. Breslin of Albany. Senator Shirley L. Huntley, a Democrat from Queens, voted “no recommendation.”
“I think (recent public awareness of the child abuse by Roman Catholic priests scandal) actually did increase public support, but that does not always translate into legislative remedy,” said David Clohessy, the executive director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.
Mr. Clohessy said the vote ended efforts this year in three states to pass laws suspending the statute of limitations for a limited period in sex abuse cases. Similar bills have already been defeated in Arizona and Wisconsin.
California and Delaware are the only states to have adopted such legislation, though similar laws have been proposed in about 15 states since 2002, he said.
Read the story in the NYTimes ...
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Catholic officials oppose NY Child Victims Act to prevent child abuse, expose sex abusers; Senate votes todayLater today, the NY Senate Codes Committee is expected to vote on a bill that would help prevent child sex crimes, expose child sex abusers and help those who have already been molested get justice, healing and closure.
The proposal, called the Child Victims Act, would open a one year ‘window’ to allow those under 54 years old who were sexually assaulted as children to file civil lawsuits against both the predator and any employers/supervisors who ignored or concealed the crimes. It is fiercely opposed by some Catholic and Orthodox Jewish officials.
Read the SNAP statement on the national website ...
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"The official church position would mandate that the correct solution would be to let both the mother and the child die." -- Lisa Sowle Cahill, Catholic theologian, Boston College, NPR, All Things Considered, May 19, 2010
Read the full story on the NPR website ...
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