Barbara Blaine, Who Championed Victims of Priests’ Abuse, Dies at 61

Barbara Blaine, who was sexually abused by a Roman Catholic priest as a teenager and went on to found the nation’s most potent advocacy group for abuse survivors, died on Sunday in St. George, Utah. She was 61.

The cause was a sudden tear in a blood vessel in her heart, which she sustained on Sept. 18 after going hiking on a vacation, her husband, Howard Rubin, said. She lived in Chicago.

Ms. Blaine, a lawyer with a degree in theology, served for nearly 30 years as president of the group she founded, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP. She stepped down this year and had recently started a new international organization to hold the Vatican and church officials overseas accountable for covering up abuse cases.

Ms. Blaine was an ardent Catholic who spent her years after college serving and living with homeless people in a Catholic Worker house in Chicago, part of a social justice movement for the poor founded by the activist Dorothy Day. Ms. Blaine applied that same activist sensibility to creating  . . .

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  • John Nesbella
    commented 2017-09-27 13:45:37 -0500
    “Barbara Blaine was an ardent Catholic” to those who falsely perceive that SNAP is an anti-catholic group-look at the life of Barbara Blaine.
    She probably did more to drain the swamp of sexual molesters in the Roman Catholic clergy than all the millions of US catholics combined. She cared enough for her church to actually do something. Contrast this to the millions who just talk about how great the church is and how much they love it. Probably the dirtiest, most thankless mission that anyone can have is to deal with sexual molesters in the church hierarchy. Thank You Barbara and thank you SNAP for doing God’s work.

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