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.
New 'clueless' cleric boss Dolan takes over American RC bishops; vows no changes saying, 'It's not like we're in a crisis.'"My major priority," New York's Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan said at his election last week as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, "would be to continue with all vigor I can muster what's already in place. It's not like we're in a crisis."
Timothy Dolan's job is to put the best face on the reactionary hierarchy's slow motion act of self-destruction. The surest sign of this crisis is the jovial conviction that there is no crisis. -- Catholic author James Carroll
Mincing no words in his response, Catholic journalist and author James Carroll commented on Dolan and his 'no-crisis' crack, beginning with a simple question:
"Hello? The Catholic Church not in a crisis? The moral authority of the Roman Catholic hierarchy is at its lowest ebb since the Inquisition."
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Pope ignores diseased children in ignorant new statement on contraception; still blames spread of AIDS on male prostitutesThe utter moral bankruptcy of the Roman Catholic Church looms more ominously than ever today in the latest unimaginably ignorant statements of the pope on the use of condoms.
Totally ignoring an entire generation of diseased children of infected parents -- a phenomenon for which, in 3rd world countries, the dark-ages mentality of the patriarchal sexual ideology of Catholicism is directly implicated -- the German pope finally admitted that condoms contribute to inhibiting the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
But he did so in a peculiarly homophobic remark suggesting that male prostitutes might act more responsibly by using condoms.
This comes from a man, it might be recalled, whose personal, attending entourage was recently alleged to have been soliciting male prostitutes. (See story from Mar 5 ...)
Just how outrageous must this destructive, dictatorial regime become before intelligent catholics stop pumping it up with power by ignoring it, or even worse, by continuing to support it?
Read the unconscionable pontifications for yourself ...
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Road to Recovery - 2 priests do what Roman Catholic bishops pay out huge legal fees to avoid: helping survivorsSNAP in DFW is a place of emotional and moral support for survivors of clergy sexual and power abuse, and for their supporters. We come together (if we may borrow a line from the 12 step recovery programs) to share our experience (often horrendous and debilitating), strength (at first, minimal to none), and hope (again, at first, non-existent, but as time goes by and help comes, improving).
However, in spite of the enormous global need now coming to light for non-church support systems for survivors of clergy sexual and power exploitation and abuse, there are, as our British friends might say, "bloody few!"
That's why we're recommending today that you visit the "Road to Recovery" website.
Road to Recovery says of itself that it is the only non-profit organization in the United States that offers compassionate counseling and referral services to survivors of clergy sexual abuse."
Road to Recovery is a non-profit, charitable organization founded in 2005 to provide "emotional, psychological, financial, and spiritual assistance to survivors as they attempt to recover from the effects of having been sexually abused by members of the clergy."
The very ironic twist to this group is the fact that it was actually founded by two priests, one, himself, a survivor of clergy sexual abuse -- two men who, single-handedly, are attempting to do what the Roman Catholic Church pays out enormous legal fees to avoid doing: helping survivors of priest rape and abuse.
Check out their site, and their group. We hope it can be of help to you.
Go to the Road to Recovery website ...
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Catholic Child Welfare Society in England diocese liable for $12.8 million in damages to abuse victims; cannot appealA Catholic diocese in northeast England has been refused the right to appeal a court ruling that found it responsible for a $12.8 million compensation claim by victims of child sexual abuse, believed to be the largest award to abuse victims in English history.
The diocese was found liable in October for the claims of 158 former pupils who were abused at St. William's Community Home, in Market Weighton, near York, between 1960 and 1992.
Although Christian Brother James Carragher, now 74, who was principal at the home for more than 20 years, began serving a 14-year prison sentence in 2004 for a long list of sex crimes against students, judges ruled that his order, the De La Salle Christian Brothers, which staffed the home, had no legal responsibility, leaving the Catholic Child Welfare Society of the diocese liable for the compensation claim.
Read the full story in the National Catholic Reporter ...
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You are not alone! 200 sexually abused men speak out on national TV; full video of the Friday's Oprah Winfrey showCaution: This program is extremely and disturbingly explicit.
However, our hope is that it encourages others abused, even years ago, to tell someone who genuinely understands and cares so that the long road toward healing this horrible rape of innocence and spirit can begin. It can and will -- you are not alone!
Watch episode 1 in its entirety here
Read Comments by Survivors at the Taping of the Oprah Show
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200 Abused Men Stand Up to Be Counted on 2 Day National TV Event; Urge Anyone Ever Abused to Get HelpOn Friday, Oprah Winfrey’s show will air the first part of a two part program about men who were abused, sexually and physically, when they were children.
It’s estimated by professionals that one in six men were abused in their youth. Some die from suicides or deaths related to alcohol or drug abuse.
That's a horrendous number that continues to grow to this day, and this is unacceptable.
With the lid coming off the Catholic Church's victims, this should tell other organizations that it's time to clean their own houses, and they should open up all files of perpetrators and contact victims that are kept hidden." -- SNAP Member Survivor Kevin Dratsch
The program will address all types of abuse, from domestic to professional to clergy.
Advanced promotion for the show describes it as, "A landmark Oprah Show event that's never been done before. Two hundred men courageously stand together to say they were all molested."
Watch the program trailer
Read SNAP Member Kevin Kratsch's letter in the Appleton, WI Post-Crescent ...
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Survivors Head for Reformation Day Gathering in Rome to Say 'Enough' to Sexual Abuse by Roman Catholic Priests
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60% of Chicago parishes employed publicly accused sexual predator priests, new SNAP supported study showsA study taking 5 years to complete by SNAP and two other survivors advocate groups has shown that nearly 60% of Roman Catholic parishes in Chicago employed priests who were publicly accused of child abuse and sexual predator behavior.
The study, conducted jointly by Voice of the Faithful, African American Advocates for Victims of Clergy and Sexual Abuse and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), looked at assignments made between 1917 and 2009 of priests accused of abuse. The researchers spent five years combing through data for the report--and they believe the number of unreported cases of abuse could make that percentage even larger.
SNAP president Barbara Blaine told the Huffington Post Monday that while she believes nearly every Chicago-land parish has been affected, the study showed that "poor parishes and minority parishes have a disproportionately high percentage of problem priests."
Blaine said further that the Chicago Archdiocese has consistently under-reported cases of abuse, and that SNAP encourages victims of abuse to reach out to advocacy groups--not to the church.
"SNAP encourages victims of abuse to reach out to advocacy groups -- not to the church."-- SNAP president Barbara Blaine
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Belgium's highest court reverses lower court's return of seized church records on pedophilia; orders reseizureIn a reversal of a lower court's order to return truckloads of files on priest sexual abuse by Roman Catholic dioceses in Belgium, Belgium's highest court has ordered the files re-seized.
The raids on June 24, conducted as a Vatican ambassador was meeting with church leaders, opened the eyes of the world to the scale of the scandal within the Belgian Catholic Church, but the church and retired archbishop, Cardinal Godfried Danneels, demanded that the material seized be declared out of bounds.
Lower courts, having found that the June police raid was illegal, ordered prosecutors to return all files to the Belgian bishops and the independent commission they had created to handle sex-abuse complaints. But the top court has now said that abuse victims should have had the opportunity to present their views before the case was decided.
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Can Restorative Justice work when religious sexual abuse perpetrators and their protecting leaders lack remorse?Restorative Justice is a concept in law that stresses the idea of promoting dialogue between victims and accused as opposed to a strict adversarial relationship based on abstract interpretations of legal code violations. To work best it requires goodwill on all sides.
The pope has spoken of "sin within the Church" but victims would like to see action, not mere lip service - action demonstrating the Church's sincerity in making things right.
An article on www.beliefnet.com suggests that building the path toward greater justice and healing guided by the parameters of Restorative Justice seems like it might be an idea worth trying.
However, the only credible comment to the article says,
Restorative Justice is a good thing. However, it necessitates a certain level or moral development in the perpetrator. He must be able to empathize with his victim. He must seek restoration because of empathy, not just because he got caught. It is not clear that today's religious leaders have a developed enough moral fiber to participate in restorative justice. ...
Frankly, I do not see any bishops of any ilk rushing to repair the survivors of clergy sex abuse. Neither do I see said bishops acting to embrace survivors as Christ.
Read more: On the BeliefNet website ...
Read more: Wikipedia article on Restorative Justice ...
Then you make the call.
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SNAP survivors of priest rape come to Britain for pope trip, ask action, not lip service, to protect childrenAmericans Therese Albrecht and SNAP president Barbara Blaine are in Britain representing fellow survivors of priest sexual abuse during the pope's current trip there. They want more openness about abuse in the Catholic Church.
"We are asking that the Pope and the Vatican establish a worldwide database with the names of all of the known and credibly-accused predator priests." -- SNAP President Barbara Blaine in Britain
Watch VOA video of SNAP survivors interviewed in Britain:
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Human rights jurist claims immunity protecting pope from legal action in pedophile crisis needs moral improvementIn a book set to be published in tandem with the popes visit to Britain, a leading British jurist has claimed that the diplomatic immunity model of international relations needs to be replaced by a more moral legal order, so that someday soon not even a pope will be above the law.
Read the article Should the Pope face charges? in the Canadian publication McLeans ...
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