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.
A letter written by the principal St. Patrick Catholic School went unread by Robert Finn, the Kansas bishop, for more than a year.
It detailed allegations and suspicions about one of the school's priests, Shawn Ratigan.
Ratigan was charged on May 19 of this year for possessing child pornography.
The letter, written a year to the day before Ratigan’s arrest, lays out a laundry list of accusations. It even said that Ratigan, “Fit the profile of a child predator."
- KC bishop's publicity-provoked 'apology' for leaving priest reported as threat to kids in job ...
- KC bishop admits to ignoring letter reporting priest as potential abuser ...
- Second priest removed following press coverage of bishop's failure to act ...
- Protesters demand resignation of bishop in KC ...
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Read the story in NCROnline ...
Read the editorial in today's Kansas City Star ...
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"At the heart of the crisis was clericalism, the mind-set of ecclesiastical privilege in which leaders behave as an anointed class accountable to no one except those above them in the church hierarchy." -- Editorial in the Minneapolis - St Paul StarTribune, 27 May 2011
Read the editorial in the Minneapolis - St Paul StarTribune, 27 May 2011 ...
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Read the full story in the National Catholic Reporter ...
Updated 29 May 2011
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So says catholic canon law expert Thomas Doyle, author of the first report ever issued to the US bishops on clergy sex abuse, in 1986.
Of all the reports citing cultural causes of clergy abuse, the recently released John Jay College of Criminal Justice report exonerating the "arrogant" clergy from blame is the only one shifting that blame from the clerical culture out of which the crisis arose to the secular culture surrounding it, against which the bishops claim moral superiority while continuing to deny responsibility for protecting pedophile priests.
"Most of the (27 other) reports contained a section on causality. None of the reports said anything about the effect of the culture of the sixties or seventies as a factor of causality but every one of them pointed to the various kinds and levels of failure by the bishops as the essential cause of the phenomenon of sexual abuse of children and minors by clerics." Fr.Thomas Doyle, catholic canon law exert.
Although the report should not be completely written off as largely either irrelevant or enabling of the bishops’ never-ending campaign to avoid facing their responsibility square on, says Doyle, it definitely claims the moral high ground for the bishops again.
Tom Doyle is a priest, canon lawyer, addictions therapist and long-time supporter of justice and compassion for clergy sex abuse victims. He is a co-author of the first report ever issued to the U.S. bishops on clergy sex abuse, in 1986.
In our opinion, the bishops of the US Catholic Church, in allegiance to their European monarch the pope, have attempted to shift attention away from the victims of clergy abuse and onto itself again. The implication is that the church and its 'innocent' leaders are the victims here -- victims of circumstances -- the "circumstances" of an era in American cultural history.
Read Tom Doyle's commentary "'Arrogant clericalism' never assessed in John Jay report" ...
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The nearly 2 million dollar, 4 year study, involving 2 researchers, was paid for by:
- Catholic bishops;
- Catholic foundations and groups; and, most surprisingly, by
- US taxpayers.
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops – $1 million according to Karen Terry CV amount, $918, 000 Catholic News Service story amount
- National Institute of Justice (United States Department of Justice) – $283,652 (figures identified with grant number 20092009-IJ-CX-0036)
- Knights of Columbus – $250,000
- Raskob Foundation – $100,000
- Catholic Mutual Group – $50,000
- Sisters of Charity Ministry Foundation – $25,000
- Luce Foundation – $25,000
- Catholic Health Association of the United States – $25,000
- St. Joseph’s Health System – $15, 000
- Greater Cincinnati Foundation – $10,000
- Assisi Foundation of Memphis – $5,000
- Daughters of Charity Foundation/Province of the West – $1,000
- “Anonymous” donations – $100,000
- Individual donors – $242 from Voice of the Faithful members
Read the full NSAC Editorial 'Funders of the John Jay Report' ...
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"As it is, this report is evidence of a large church prioritizing the interests of powerful, large institutions over the rights of children to security and freedom from abuse. It is an 152-page millstone (as in Luke 17:2) hung about the neck of organized religion."
-- Religion scholar Joanna Brooks in Religion Dispatches Magazine
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"This report does not get to the heart of the issue, and the heart of the issue is deceit, cover-up, silence, secrecy and an internal culture that doesn't let anybody else in."
-- NPR Interview with survivor and Catholic priest Bob Hoatson
"We need a massive overhaul, a massive restructuring of the Catholic Church. The monarchy has to be dismantled. The hierarchy has to go and the faithful have to reclaim their church."
-- Fr. Bob Hoatson on CNN 19 May 2011
- Read and listen to the full NPR interview ...
- Watch the CNN interview with Fr. Bob Hoatson ...
- Visit Fr. Bob Hoatson's Road to Recovery website ...
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Our first concern today as we alert our readers to the release of the John Jay Report is for the survivors and their families and for the families of those who committed suicide as it will be a day with increased news coverage about sexual abuse which brings with it the searing tearing at scars, the churning of memories, the trauma of flashback, and quite simply, pain. We renew our commitment to walk with you."
We join with NSAC today in this commitment to Survivors.
Read the full NSAC editorial ...
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Citing "the blame Woodstock" explanation, the report has outraged survivor and victims advocates worldwide.
Among the outrages, say the survivors, is the continuing attempt of the Roman hierarchy to redefine 'pedophile' in the public's mind as someone attracted to children under 10. This skews the numbers to imply that a significantly fewer number of Catholic priest perpetrators are actually "pedophiles."
The implication, of course, is that rape of older children is somehow less heinous than rape of younger children -- further implying that the older the children are, the more complicit in their own rapes they are, and the less culpable the priests are.
This is completely consistent with Catholic theology which places the "age of reason" -- i.e. the age at which a child can be guilty of a "mortal sin," punishable by eternal damnation -- somewhere between 7 and 10 years of age. It is part and parcel of a co-dependent and abusive environment within which all Catholics are raised.
Read all about the report and the responses from victims and survivors advocates world wide by following the links below:
- NYtimes: Church Report Cites Social Tumult in Priest Scandals ...
- Action3News Omaha: New Report Outrages Sex Abuse Victims
- 3 victims respond to new church abuse report
- 4 fallacies in new bishop’s abuse report - SNAP
- New bishops document on abuse released; SNAP responds
- SNAP: Bishops to issue “blame-shifting” report
- Ten reasons the Vatican’s new abuse guidelines will change little
- New Vatican child sex abuse guidelines; SNAP responds
- Victims rap Vatican child sex abuse guidelines
- What the Vatican COULD have done today; SNAP responds
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This marked the first time the Vatican was named in the group's Annual Report on the state of human rights around the world. The 2011 Annual Report covered human rights in 157 countries, looking particularly at rights abuses and restrictions and at failures to implement international rights' agreements.
The report, released May 13, said, "The Holy See did not sufficiently comply with its international obligations relating to the protection of children," specifically regarding sex abuse.
"Canon law does not include an obligation for church authorities to report cases to civil authorities for criminal investigation. Secrecy is mandatory throughout the proceedings," the Amnesty report said.
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WHAT THE POPE CAN DO TO PROTECT CHURCH ASSETS:
Sept 22, 2010 -- Irish Times Headline
Dec 30, 2010 -- Irish Times Headline:
WHAT THE POPE HAS DONE TO PROTECT CHILDREN
Jul 15, 2010 - Associated Press
May 5, 2010 -- NYTimes
May 16, 2011 -- National Catholic Reporter
May 16, 2011 -- SNAP National Website
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Fr. Patrick Conway is a smart, well-educated man. He knew child molestation was a crime. He knew suspected crimes should be reported to police. But he didn’t.
Read Peter Isely's full statement on the SNAP national website ...
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Reilly, who died in 1999, was a priest at St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church in Arlington from 1969 through 1987. He retired in 1987 and moved to Philadelphia.
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Calling Morris' removal "profoundly disheartening," the auxiliary bishop of Brisbane, Brian Finnigan, who was asked to oversee the Toowoomba diocese while a permanent replacement is found, issued a statement praising Morris' service, particularly his handling of a sexual abuse case in which students at a Toowoomba Catholic school were assaulted by a teacher. Morris quickly accepted legal liability for the abuse, sparing the victims a court trial. "The good work that Bishop Morris has done to address the needs of the victims will continue into the future," Finnigan said.
Once again the motives of Rome become patently clear.
Read the complete AP story ...
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Yet Roman hierarch Bernard Law, who presided over the Boston sex abuse scandal of 2001, continues to sit on the arch-priest throne of the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome -- enjoying full international diplomatic immunity from prosecution for covering up American catholic clergy abuse crimes, thanks to "Blessed" John Paul II.
Now, the current pope has fired Bishop William Morris of the Toowoomba diocese, west of Brisbane in Australia. Morris recently published an open letter saying he was being removed for a 2006 message to the faithful in which he argued that a shortage of priests should prompt the church to consider ordaining women and married men.
This papacy has made its intentions and motives in the world wide priest sex abuse crisis patently clear: protect the priesthood - the all male, ostensibly celibate fraternity, and the international monarchy which presides over it -- not the children.
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This a historic achievement.-- SNAP Press Statement, 22 April, 2011
"This a historic achievement. It is the first time ever that the Vatican is being forced by secular authorities to turn over clergy sex abuse documents."
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"One fact to consider: On May 27, 2004, John Paul named ex-Boston Cardinal Bernard Law as head of St. Mary Major Basilica in Rome, giving him the title archpriest. That appointment came less than two years after John Paul accepted Law's resignation from his Boston post -- a move prompted by Law's repeated failure to remove pedophile priests from the ministry." -- Huffington Post, 25 April, 2011
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"Next Sunday, two days after the Kate and William show, another European spectacle will unfold: Pope Benedict XVI will preside over the beatification for the man he revered, the first time in a millennium that a pope has elevated his immediate predecessor and the swiftest ascension toward sainthood on record.
Hoping to get a P.R. boost by resurrecting John Paul’s magic, Benedict fast-tracked the process, waiving the usual five-year wait before starting.
But it won’t take away the indelible stain left by a global sex scandal that continues to sulfurously bubble as we celebrate Easter." -- Maureen Dowd, NYTimes
Read Hold the Halo by Maureen Dowd in today's NYTimes ...
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"But the Catholic Church risks breeding insensitivity by segregating its diocesan priests and bishops from the world of wives, children and the loving sex that begets them. It risks sending the message that those human joys would somehow sully their vocations — that those things are inferior to the priesthood, and so protecting the holy fraternity is what matters most during a crisis like the sexual abuse plague." ...
"Mandatory celibacy has led to an unnecessary isolation of our clergy — and, in turn, to the harmful sense of clerical superiority we've seen so much of during the abuse crisis."
Palm Sunday Plea: Let Priests Marry
By TIM PADGETT-TIME Sunday, Apr. 17, 2011
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FRONTLINE examines a little-known chapter of the Catholic Church sex abuse story -- decades of abuse of Native Americans by priests and other church workers in Alaska. Through candid interviews with survivors, this FRONTLINE report focuses on the abuse by a number of men who worked for the Church along Alaska's far west coast in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
All told, they would leave behind a trail of hundreds of claims of abuse, making this one of the hardest hit regions in the country. As part of FRONTLINE's new magazine program, The Silence airs as the second segment on Tuesday, April 19, 2011, at 9 P.M. ET on PBS.
The Silence is a co-presentation with Native American Public Telecommunications (NAPT).
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