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.

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 ... ... 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: ... e-lawsuit/
Read: Vatican 13 years delinquent in filing required UN report on how it protects children:
Read: Pope acts quickly and decisively to release Vatican assets frozen in money laundering investigation:

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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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Bishops blame 'woodstock,' redefine 'pedophile' and skew numbers in their favor in new church-financed report 
A 2 million dollar study just released -- half of which was paid for by the Roman Catholic bishops in the United States themselves, and the balance of which was paid for mostly by other Catholic organizations -- points the blame for the Roman Catholic clergy sex abuse crisis everywhere except toward the bishops who financed the report, and who continue to evade prosecution and to refuse to accept blame in the crisis.

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:

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Amnesty International human rights report lists Vatican for failure to protect children  
Amnesty International named the Vatican in its annual report on human rights issues for failing to sufficiently comply with international mandates to protect children from abuse.

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.
Read the full story at NCR Online...
Read Amnesty International's Annual Report, Vatican segment ...

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Vatican 'guidelines' on responsibility of bishops in sex abuse - too weak, too little, to late 

Sept 22, 2010 -- Irish Times Headline
Vatican bank in the spotlight over money laundering claims

Dec 30, 2010 -- Irish Times Headline:
Vatican enacts new banking laws


Jul 15, 2010 - Associated Press
Vatican child rights report 13 years overdue

May 5, 2010 -- NYTimes
Vatican top cop on abuse admitted failing to notify police, parishioners; follows party line

May 16, 2011 -- National Catholic Reporter
Vatican issues 'guidelines' on sex abuse

May 16, 2011 -- SNAP National Website
New Vatican child sex abuse guidelines; SNAP responds

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SNAP opposes priest for Congressional chaplain 
In 1986, the priest who hopes to be the next Congressional chaplain knew of likely child sex crimes but didn’t call the police. Instead, he just told an archbishop once. And he never followed up.

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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New settlement reached for survivor of Fort Worth Roman Catholic Diocese serial child molester priest  
Another victim of the late Monsignor James Reilly, a serial child molester who worked in Arlington, Texas, a suburb of Fort Worth, reached a settlement Monday with the Fort Worth Roman Catholic Diocese. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

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.
Read more in the Fort Worth Star Telegram ...

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