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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.



SNAP Director joins local members in protesting Episcopal School's decision to appeal $9.2 million abuse verdict against the school 
SNAP Director David Clohessy joined members of the SNAPDFW group of survivors to protest the decision of the Episcopal School of Dallas to contest a $9.2 million judgement against it in a case of sexual abuse of a student by a teacher at the school.

"“All that will do is drag these families through more pain and suffering,” said Clohessy, the director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “[ESD] will be saying that its reputation and assets are more important than your child’s safety.”

The school, which had been found grossly negligent in dealing with the child's abuse by the teacher, called today's protest by SNAP members "disgraceful and offensive."

Dallas SNAP director Lisa Kendzior, one of the protesters, said after the press conference, "if one new person comes out of the shadows because of our effort, it will have been worth the discomfort."

Read more: Trio of SNAP Advocates Speak on ESD Campus | Preston Hollow People

http://www.prestonhollowpeople.com/2011 ... z1ZN6M59Nu


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Episcopal School of Dallas found grossly negligent in handling of teacher sexual association with underage student 
Following nine weeks of testimony, the Episcopal School of Dallas was found grossly negligent in how it handled a sexual association between a teacher and a 16-year-old student, and has been ordered to pay the girl's family at least $5 million.

Calling the decision of a jury "wrong," ESD denied culpability and vowed to appeal the verdict.
"On the stand, ESD Headmaster Father Stephen Swann ... testified that at the time of the affair, he wasn’t aware of the age of consent, or that it was always illegal for a high school teacher to have sex with a student."

-- From D Magazine Oct 2011

Nathan Campbell, the former ESD history teacher who had the alleged "relationship" with the girl, is awaiting trial on criminal charges of sexual assault of a child and improper relationship with a student.

Unfortunately for those interested in this story, if you are not a subscriber to the Dallas Morning News, you will have to read the full story on the local ABC affiliate website, or on the DMagazine website - the links are below.
Read the full story on the WFAA Dallas website ...
The ESD Sex Scandal

"When an exclusive private school discovered a teacher was sleeping with a student, administrators did their best to make the problem vanish."

-- Read this full account on the D Magazine website ...


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SNAP petitions international court to investigate the pope and top Vatican officials for possible crimes against humanity 
As the clergy sexual abuse scandal, once dismissed as an American problem by the Vatican, intensifies around the world, SNAP is petitioning the International Court in The Hague to investigate the pope and top Vatican cardinals for possible crimes against humanity.

The Center for Constitutional Rights, a New York-based nonprofit legal group, requested the inquiry on behalf of the Survivors Network (SNAP), arguing that the global church has maintained a "long-standing and pervasive system of sexual violence" despite promises to swiftly oust predators.
The global church has maintained a "long-standing and pervasive system of sexual violence" despite promises to swiftly oust predators.

Thousands of people have come forward in Ireland, Germany and elsewhere with reports of abusive priests, bishops who covered up for them and Vatican officials who moved so slowly to respond that molesters often stayed on the job for decades.

Barbara Blaine, president of the U.S.-based Survivors Network of those Abused by priests, said going to the court was a last resort.

"We have tried everything we could think of to get them to stop and they won't," she told The Associated Press. "If the pope wanted to, he could take dramatic action at any time that would help protect children today and in the future, and he refuses to take the action."
Read the full AP story here ...


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Pope defrocks child molester priest 2 years after his conviction - "What took them so long?" asks Dallas victims advocate attorney  
A Fort Worth priest as been defrocked by the Vatican more than two years after a Texas jury convicted him of molesting an 11-year-old Texas boy, and decades after his first accusers came forward.

Kevin Vann, leader of the Fort Worth Roman Catholic Diocese, announced Friday that he had learned that Pope Benedict XVI decreed that Teczar has been "dismissed from the clerical state." The action took place within the past several weeks, a Massachusetts church official said.

"I guess my reaction would be, what took them so long?" said Tahira Khan Merritt, a Dallas attorney who represented six of Teczar's victims in Texas and was a special prosecutor in Teczar's criminal trial in Eastland County.

The Fort Worth Star Telegram reports that In 1988, shortly before being reassigned to Fort Worth the priest admitted to then-Bishop Joseph Delaney that he was "attracted to adolescents in every way, including sexually." The Eastland County district attorney has said Teczar abused eight children in Massachusetts over decades before coming to Texas.
Read more in the Fort Worth Star Telegram story ...


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Former Dallas area youth minister faces child sexual assault charges in Mississippi thanks to efforts of Houston SNAP leader  
A former youth music minister at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, who recently admitted during a sermon to molesting young students in the late 1980s when he worked with youth in Plano, has been arrested in Clinton, MS and faces 8 counts of sexually assaulting children under 14 years of age.

At least three former students of John Langworthy, the accused, have privately told their stories to former Prestonwood staff member Amy Smith -- who is now a Houston resident and local leader of the non-profit group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP. Smith has been instrumental in bringing their stories to light.

While Langworthy was immediately fired from the Dallas area Prestonwood church, according to a WFAA Dallas investigative report, there are questions about whether Prestonwood church leaders tried to keep the incident under wraps.

Dr. Jack Graham, who had just been named Prestonwood’s pastor at the time the abuse was discovered, declined comment.

Executive Pastor Mike Buster offered this statement:

"In the summer of 1989, the church received an allegation that John Langworthy had acted inappropriately with a teenage student. Based on this allegation, he was dismissed immediately, removing him from all responsibilities with the church. In no way did officials of the church seek to cover up the actions of Mr. Langworthy or silence his accuser. The elected officers dealt with the matter firmly and forthrightly."

However, what is clear to SNAP's Amy Smith is that none of this would have been made public had she not worked so diligently on behalf of the victims.
Read the WFAA Dallas, TX investigative report of Langworty's confession ...
Read the WAPT Jackson, MS report of the arrest ...


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After 9 years of defying US courts, Vatican succumbs to 1 survivor's demand that the silence surrounding his abuse be ceased 
Vatican Radio website has announced that the Vatican has released documents ordered by a United States court.

For nine grueling years in court, a single survivor of clergy abuse has prevailed in a landmark, precedent setting battle against the 'immunity' that the Roman church hierarchy uses to shirk responsibility for the global atrocities of priest sexual abuse, and the cover-up of those atrocities by the Roman hierarchy.

Although victim "John Doe" continues, rightfully, to demand his own identity be protected, what will not be protected any longer is the evidence the Vatican has secreted away about his abuse.

SNAP national -- also, rightfully so -- has focused on the last-ditch release of the records as further showing just how far the church will go to trivialize and re-victimize the survivors to protect itself.
"If anyone is tempted to see any kind of ‘silver lining’ in this, it’s important to keep in mind that the highest echelons of the Catholic hierarchy have been fighting this disclosure for nine years." -- SNAP spokesperson Barbara Dorris

Read the full story in today's Irish Times ...
Read SNAP's response in today's Irish Times ...


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Irish news discovers evidence of extensive abuse and coverup by already disgraced Catholic religious order  
The Irish Independent has obtained hundreds of pages of documents about the dreadful living conditions of vulnerable children in the care of the Brothers of Charity at Lota residential facility in Glanmire, Co Cork. 

But it is understood that the documents were not made available to the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, which condemned the Brothers of Charity in the 2009 Ryan Report.

It begs serious questions about how many other documents detailing horrific abuse may have slipped under the commission's radar.

Read the full story in yesterday's Irish Independent ...

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Traditional church hierarchy of power, domination  breaking down, says Catholic Religious women's conference keynote 
Confronting the institutional domination of authoritarian cultures such as Roman Catholicism is a global indication of the presence and actvity of "Ruah" the Holy Spirit. So says Sr. Maricarmen Bracamontes during the general assembly of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Aug. 11.

Bracamontes, coordinator of the theology team advising the Confederation of Latin American and Caribbean Religious, said these phenomena represent a shift in power that can be truly transformational when it is based on Jesus who rejected power that was abusive, and who emulated, instead, compassionate love.

Read: "Sisters listen and act on confronting institutional domination" in the National Catholic Reporter --

http://ncronline.org/news/women-religio ... domination

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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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