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.
In the mid '60s, Ward was a student at her alma mater, Penn State when Joe Paterno became football coach. She sees direct parallels between the Penn State disclosures of alleged sexual abuse of children and its coverup, and the Catholic church sex abuse scandal -- with the exception that the Penn State brass, who covered up the allegations from the beginning, have gotten fired while not a single catholic bishop has even been reprimanded, much less fired.
In the meantime, no one is paying attention to the real victims in these tragedies -- the children and the innocents.
Watch the Kristine Ward interview on Ohio News Network ...
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The patterns outlined in the 40-count indictment charging Sandusky are familiar:
- the grooming of vulnerable youth,
- using a trusted position and stature within the community to gain access to children and to fend off suspicion,
- descriptions of fondling and rape of children,
- reports of abuse being minimized,and
- a continued toleration of the abuser within a protective culture.
-- National Catholic Reporter
Read 'Abuse and cover-up: Penn State's Catholic-like scandal' in NCROnline ...
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Boston attorney Carmen Durso, who has represented numerous clergy sex abuse victims, said the Boston and Penn State cases will likely share a lack of proper accountability for the people who allowed accused abusers to work with children years later.
"If you're a powerful person in any regard, the rules are different for you," he said. "That's why Cardinal Law just had his (80th birthday) party in Rome and that's why Joe Paterno is still a hero to people even though he let this go on."
Read 'Paterno fired over Penn St. child abuse scandal' at CBS News ...
Read 'Penn State scandal evokes Boston clergy crisis' at CBS News ...
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"When anyone reports to us the sexual abuse of a child ... it’s not a case for the kind of investigation that we might want to launch ourselves.
“This is a case for calling in the authorities, because after all, this is not just about determining what is taking place in any event or accusation but what is the credible threat that even now if we delay, similar children might be put in similar danger.”
Read more in the Associated Baptist Press ...
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Ireland's diplomatic relations with the Vatican began in 1929, the year that the 14 square block suburb near downtown Rome was declared a nation due to a 'Concordat' between the Holy See and the government of Italy.
The Concordat of 1929 was signed by Pius XI's curial emissary, Pietro Gaspari, a Cardinal, and Italian premier Benito Mussolini. Following the signing of the Concordat, several Catholic countries sent ambassadors, including Ireland. That relationship ended on Thursday.
The Lateran Treaty, as the Concordat was officially called, is one of the Lateran Pacts of 1929 or Lateran Accords, three agreements made in 1929 between the Kingdom of Italy and the Holy See, ratified June 7, 1929, ending the "Roman Question". Italy was then under a Fascist government; the succeeding Italian governments have all upheld the treaty.
The pacts consisted of three documents:
- A political treaty recognising the full sovereignty of the Holy See in the State of Vatican City, which was thereby established.
- A concordat regulating the position of the Catholic Church and the Catholic religion in the Italian state.
- A financial convention agreed on as a definitive settlement of the claims of the Holy See following the losses of its territories and property.
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Megan Peterson was abused by her priest in Crookston, ND for two years at the age of 14. She's one of the few who have come forward while the abuse was ongoing. Traveling the world with SNAP for the last few months, she now wants to reach out to others by starting a group in Fargo, North Dakota.
In this story, from Fargo's WDAY website, hear Megan Peterson and SNAP Outreach Director Barbara Dorris as they encourage other survivors to come forward and to begin healing together.
Read and watch the story on the WDAY websiite ...
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The charges, filed Friday in a Jackson County, Mo., court and announced at a press conference this afternoon, represent the first time a U.S. bishop has faced criminal charge related to clergy sexual abuse, and the first time a diocese as a whole has faced such charges.
Read the full story in NCR Online:
KC bishop charged with failure to report child abuse
======== Follow links provided in a Special Edition of NSAC News today ===========
-- KC bishop charged for not bringing porn to police - KANSAS CITY (MO) - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
-- Jackson County grand jury indicts Catholic Diocese, Bishop Finn - KANSAS CITY (MO) - KCTV -[with video]
-- KC Bishop charged for not bringing porn to police - KANSAS CITY (MO) - The Associated Press
-- 'Underlying systemic issues' need to be dealt with in abuse scandal, nun says - CANADA - National Post
Also, read: Finn should be Finn ished on the Voice from the Desert website ...
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"“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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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.
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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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."
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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.
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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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"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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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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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: "Report by Commission of Investigation into Catholic Diocese of Cloyne" on Ireland's Department of Justice and Equality website ...
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"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.
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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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