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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.



Ireland's papal nuncio recalled after prime minister blasts 'elitism, narcissism' of Roman church in sex abuse crisis  
Speaking to the Irish Parliament last week, Irish prime minster Enda Kenny attacked the "dysfunction, disconnection, elitism, the narcissism" within the upper echelon of the Roman Catholic Church.

In reaction, the Vatican has recalled its ambassador to Ireland (called, in Rome, a "papal nuncio"). And according to news analysis from Ireland today, Mr. Kenny's comments have seriously eroded the once rock-solid relationship between the Vatican and Ireland.

In Ireland, the reception to Mr Kenny's withering remarks - which came after the devastating report criticising the Church's handling of clerical sex abuse in the diocese of Cloyne, Co Cork, was published - has been nothing short of sensational.
"Victims of clerical abuse have bravely spoken out, while many ordinary practicing Catholics have applauded the intervention." -- Scotsman News analysis, 26 July 2011
Read Scotsman News Analysis: Catholic church's power over the state has been broken ...
Read: 'Vatican recalls ambassador' in The Guardian (United Kingdom), 25 July, 2011 ...
Watch: Video of Irish leader's speech attacking Vatican elitism in The NY Times...


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Irish Prime Minister says Roman hierarchy puts 'power and reputation of the church ahead of child rape victims'  
In a scathing public tongue-lashing of Roman clericalism, legalism, cover-up and church-based protection of perpetrator priests, Ireland Prime Minister Enda Kenny, the highest ranking political leader in this Roman church dominated nation, made a direct allusion to the name from the pantheon of catholic saints self-chosen by the current pope:

"Far from listening to evidence of humiliation and betrayal with St Benedict's "ear of the heart"......the Vatican's reaction was to parse and analyse it with the gimlet eye of a canon lawyer.

"This calculated, withering position being the polar opposite of the radicalism, humility and compassion upon which the Roman Church was founded."

-- Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny

In making such a public declaration, Kenny spoke for victims and survivors of Roman priests and their bishop co-conspirators worldwide.

"No high ranking government official anywhere in the world has denounced atrocities committed by church officials as Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has. We commend him for speaking out about how the Roman Catholic hierarchy has put “… the power and reputation of the Church ahead of child rape victims.” These are words of comfort to the thousands of survivors of abuse.

"Mr. Kenny is the first government leader to demand accountability not only from his nation’s bishops but from the Vatican. We applaud his courage and we urge other world leaders to follow his example."

-- Barbara Blaine, President, SNAP USA


Read: SNAP President Barbara Blaine's full response 'Victims thank Taoiseach Enda Kenny' here ...
Watch: Video of the Kenny speech here ...
Read the full speech by the Prime Minister here -> Read More...

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'Worst possible candidate' appointed by Rome to PA diocese under seige for endangering children and protecting perps 
The pope has appointed Charles Chaput of Denver to head the besieged Philadelphia archdiocese, replacing a cardinal, Justin Regali on whose watch the archdiocese came under fire following 3 grand-jury reports, the latest in February of this year, accusing the Archdiocese of a widespread cover-up of predatory priests over decades.

Barbara Blaine, national director of SNAP, called Regali's replacement, Chaput, "the worst possible candidate" for the job.
'He should have been fired in Denver, not transferred to Philadelphia." -- Bob Hoatson, Road to Recovery

To see Jusin Regali's record, all you have to do is read the three Philadelphia grand jury reports since 2003.

Here is Chaput's record on abuse. Judge for yourself:

CHAPUT ON REPORTING ABUSE

--- He has been accused of underreporting abuse in his diocese.

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/us ... nverco.htm

CHAPUT ON DISCLOSURE

--- He has attempted to sidestep the transparency of the court system by bullying victims into a church-run mediation. The mediation had no promises of discovery, disclosure, or public release of sex abuse cover-up documents.

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/ne ... hReady.htm

No promises of disclosure.

CHAPUT ON THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

--- He fought against anti-crime legislation that would reform the statute of limitations for child sex offenders.

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/ne ... ingThe.htm

CHAPUT ON BACKGROUND CHECKS

--- He has not confirmed whether or not he does background checks on priests in the archdiocese. They don't do background checks on volunteers.

CHAPUT ON PLAYING 'LEGAL HARDBALL' WITH RAPE VICTIMS

http://www.usccb.org/ocyp/2010-Internat ... riests.pdf

CHAPUT ON TRANSPARENCY IN THE ABUSE CRISIS

--- Because of anger at their exposure of child sex crimes and cover-up, Chaput held a childish and punitive six-year grudge against the New York Times, refusing to speak with reporters about sex abuse in his diocese and his Vatican-appointed investigation for serial predator Marcial Maciel

http://www.mediaite.com/online/archbish ... t-boycott/


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Bishop-secretary to 3 popes presided over child endangerment and abuse, says 'damning' Cloyne report 
A report published on Wednesday faulted the Ireland Diocese of Cloyne for failing to inform police about allegations of clerical sex abuse from 1996-2009, including cases in which the alleged victims were still minors at the time of the accusations.

The report also characterized the Vatican as "entirely unhelpful," for downplaying the child protection policies that Irish church leaders established in 1996, but failed to follow. The report concluded that, in the case of Cloyne, those policies were "not fully or consistently implemented."
Speaking before the Irish parliament on Wednesday, Prime Minister Enda Kenny described the report as "damning."
Read: "Irish Government Releases 'Damning' Abuse Report" in Religion News Service Vatican City ...
Read: "Report by Commission of Investigation into Catholic Diocese of Cloyne" on Ireland's Department of Justice and Equality website ...


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Expert in Canon Law warns: Church's destructive 'dark side' evident in sexual abuse of children and adults by priests is systemic 

"The phenomenon of sexual abuse of minors and adults by Catholic clergy and nuns is more than the violation of innocent people and the criminal cover-up by the erroneously labeled “leaders” of the institutional Church.

It is the mind and soul boggling revelation, over a long period of time, of the reality that there is a very dark side to the Church. It is a revelation that this long nightmare is part of the very fabric of the institution and not an embarrassing and destructive problem that is extraneous to the institution." -- Canon Law expert Thomas Doyle



Read the Tom Doyle's entire speech as he presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Richard Sipe at the SNAP National Conference, July 10, 2011 here.

Read More...

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Bishop accused of allowing molester priest to escape justice in defiance of CA law resigns 
The Vatican has announced that the pope has accepted the resignation of Daniel Walsh, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa, CA.

The diocese has been hit with several lawsuits under Walsh's tenure involving alleged child sex abuse by former priests.

Reports say that in 2006, Walsh was threatened with criminal charges for failing to report accusations of misconduct against Xavier Ochoa, a priest in his employ, for five days after the priest admitted the abuses to Walsh. Authorities said the delay allowed Ochoa time to flee to Mexico before he could be arrested.

Walsh underwent 'counseling' and was not charged. The priest is still at large. And the victims remain ignored.

Read the full story on the KTVU San Jose website...

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Victim 23 of serial child molester priest settles with FW diocese intent upon 'preserving secrets' 
The 23rd victim to report being molested by a notorious FW predator priest has settled out of court with the Fort Worth Roman Catholic Diocese. Financial terms were not disclosed. The priest, James Reilly, died in 1999.
The victim's attorney, Tahira Khan Merritt of Dallas, strongly criticized the diocese, saying its officials were interested in "preserving their secrets." She urged victims to go to law enforcement rather than the church.

In 1976 a plaque was placed on a children center building named after Reilly on the St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church campus in Arlington, TX. The plaque read, in part, "His love for children brings men nearer to the Lord." Victims insisted the plaque be removed following a 2006 settlement against the diocese that also involved the priest.

SNAPDFW urges anyone with any knowledge of abuse by this predator to contact law enforcement officials, and not the church.

Read: Serial molester's victim settles with Fort Worth diocese ...

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Priest accused of abusing pastoral authority to seduce a parishioner files counter suit challenging constitutionality of abuse law 
A priest in Ramsey County, Minnesota is currently being accused of abusing his pastoral authority over a parishioner in order to seduce her into a sexual encounter. Now the priest is challenging the constitutionality of the law upon which the felony criminal charge against him has been brought, claiming that it is "an overly broad attempt to regulate sexual behavior."

County prosecutors have replied that the constitutionality of the law has been previously upheld in court, and that it would be dangerous and inconsistent to grant license to pastors which is not granted to other professionals--such as doctors, therapists, or social workers--in their interaction with clients.

Ramsey County prosecutors write,
"Like statutes prohibiting sexual relationships between patients and doctors, therapists, counselors and social workers, the power imbalance created in the clergy-counselee relationship lies at the heart of criminalizing any sexual relationship that may develop."


Minnesota and Texas are two of the states that have laws on the books for clergy as well as for others in the helping professions.

SNAPDFW has compiled a page of resources for survivors victimized by clergy as adults. See the link below.


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Pop TV preacher and book seller falls on sword for allegations of abuse, after holding 'Ordination Anniversary Sale'  
Pop Catholic televangelist and Roman Catholic priest John Corapi, who has been accused of abusing one of his followers, has decided to abort the investigation against him by quitting the priesthood.

One week before announcing his departure, however, the company Corapi owns to sell his right wing Catholic preaching books, tried to clear its inventory with a Corapi "Ordination Anniversary Sale!!" As far as we know, the sale is still going on, in case anyone is interested.

As we reported here recently, Corapi has been secretly under investigation by his catholic order of priests for allegations that he raped one of his followers.

Today, however, in an arrogant flourish of blinding self-righteousness, Corapi quit the priesthood.

Posturing as an innocent victim/martyr, Corapi "courageously" fell on his sword while:
  1. Blaming the victim he claims to have only "loved";
  2. Blaming the bishop-hierarchs (strange "bedfellow," eh?);
  3. Perpetrating one last rip off of his Catholic faithful followers with an "Ordination Anniversary Sale!!" to clear the inventory of his personal and privately owned book company one week before his announcement to quit.
SNAPDFW wants to know: where is the voice of the victim? As usual, the Roman hierarchy, and, in this and similar cases, its flamboyant priest publicity hounds control the dissemination of information, drowning out the voices of the innocent with claims of owning the 'one truth' and of being 'the one true church.'

Read: 'Father Corapi Has Lost It' in the National Catholic Register ...

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US bishops ignore child safety, says SNAP; Bishop Accountability calls policy 'a disaster for children' 
The bishops missed a real opportunity to show they really care about kids' safety. Instead, they sent a chilling message: the public relations plan we call our abuse policy is good enough, vague, weak, and unenforced though it may be.

Hundreds of US bishops over the past nine years could have pushed for improvements to the "charter." Not a single one did.
-- Barbara Dorris, Outreach Director Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

"This is a squandered opportunity and a disaster for children, not only in the United States but worldwide." -- Bishop Accountability

The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to retain their policies on sexual abuse by clergy members with only minor revisions, disregarding victims’ advocates who had called for a more substantial overhaul. -- New York Times



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KC bishop issues 'call for change' one day, tries to get accused pedophile priest off the hook under statute of limitations the next 
A day after the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph announced a plan to radically improve investigation of reports of sexual misconduct by employees, its lawyer asked a judge to throw out a lawsuit accusing a KC priest of abusing a 13-year-old boy 40 years ago because the plaintiff waited too long to make his claims.

Read: Kansas City diocese seeks dismissal of lawsuit, day after announcing plan to investigate abuse ...

http://www.greenfieldreporter.com/view/ ... e-Lawsuit/

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Vatican stalls US court order to produce records in child abuse case while pope responds immediately to release frozen bank assets  
After stalling US courts for over nine years in an Oregon child abuse case, the Vatican was ordered finally to turn the records over. Now they want 60 more days.

Additionally, the UN Committee on Rights of the Child reported recently that the Vatican is over 13 years delinquent in producing a simple statement required of all member nations concerning it's efforts to protect children.

By contrast, the Roman pope, just last year responded personally, forcefully and immediately to release millions of dollars in Vatican funds frozen by the international banking community during a money laundering investigation.

Actions speak louder than words.

Read: Vatican further stalls US court in child abuse case:
http://www.columbian.com/news/2011/jun/ ... e-lawsuit/
---
Read: Vatican 13 years delinquent in filing required UN report on how it protects children:
http://snapdfw.org/index.php?entry=entry100724-091806
---
Read: Pope acts quickly and decisively to release Vatican assets frozen in money laundering investigation:
http://snapdfw.org/index.php?entry=entry110103-082718


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KC bishop responds to publicity, removes second priest in two weeks while ignoring parishioners and Star editorial demanding he resign  
The bishop of Kansas City - St. Joseph has removed another priest from pastoral duties because of “credible reports” of sexual misconduct with minors. This second removal followed publicity exposing the bishop as having ignored a previous threat of one year ago reporting possible pedophile behavior by a priest who was arrested recently (one year after the bishop was informed of the the threat) on child pornography charges.

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."


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In rare move by US newspaper, Kansas City Star calls for Catholic bishop to resign for failing to remove suspected pedophile priest 
In a move rare in U.S. Catholic history, but one that indicates growing exasperation with the way the bishops of the Catholic church have handled the now decades’ long clergy abuse scandal, a local newspaper, the Kansas City Star , today has called for the resignation of Kansas City-St. Joseph Bishop Robert Finn.

Read the story in NCROnline ...
Read the editorial in today's Kansas City Star ...

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Roman clerical cult of privilege, not American cultural history, at heart of global priest sexual abuse crisis says Twin Cities editorial 
"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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Diocese knew of priest who 'fit the profile of a child predator' months before removing him from access to children 
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The principal of a Catholic elementary school warned the Kansas City-St. Joseph chancery office that a local priest “fit the profile of a child predator” six months before the diocese took any action to remove him from ministries dealing with children. This week, one full year after the bishop was told of the threat to children in his diocese, the priest was arrested on possession of child pornography charges.

Read the full story in the National Catholic Reporter ... 

Updated 29 May 2011

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Catholic canon law expert comments on church-financed denial of bishops responsibility in abuse crisis  
There have been at least 27 other reports on clergy sex abuse between 1989 and 2011. All cite cultural causes as contributory. But the only one citing any culture other than the Roman clerical culture as causative is the one that very culture bankrolled.

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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Biased study blames priest pedophilia on an era, bankrolled by Catholic bishops, Catholic groups and US Taxpayers 
The National Survivors Advocacy Coalition, NSAC, has published the list of stakeholders in the seriously skewed John Jay College study designed to blame the Catholic priest child abuse crisis on a troubled era in American history.

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.
Here are the investors in this study which concludes that the bishops and the church were merely victims of circumstances:
  • 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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US Catholic bishops claim church, pedophile priests are victims of circumstance in '152 page millstone' 
Referencing the gospel passage from Luke 17:2, religion scholar Joanna Brooks called the John Jay report, underwritten by the Catholic hierarchy it exonerates, "a 152 page millstone."
"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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Priest survivor sees little in new bishop-funded report to suggest genuine commitment to protecting victims 
"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



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NSAC editorial renews commitment of survivor advocacy in wake of church-funded report 
"Our Concern Rests with the Survivors Today 

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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