SNAP Leaders


Catholic official decries "discrimination" against some victims. Huh?

Usually, when Catholic officials try to deny child sex abuse victims their day in court, I moan or cry or shake my head in dismay. But a sentence in a new National Catholic Register article on statute of limitations reform had the opposite effect on me. It made me laugh out loud.

Here’s the background: Gradually, more lawmakers are proposing civil “window” laws that temporarily suspend the civil statute on child sex crimes.

The laws enable child sex abuse victims to protect kids, stop predators, expose wrongdoing, and deter cover ups by seeking justice in court.

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Backsliding by newspapers?

We’re used to bishops backpedalling on clergy sex crimes. It’s worrisome, however, when newspapers backpedal on those crimes.

Lately, editors at two big city dailies have made unsettling decision in covering clergy sex cases.

For as long as I can remember (and I’ve been involved in this almost 25 years), virtually every news outlet has named clerics who are accused in civil lawsuits of assaulting kids. Ditto with other defendants who are high profile: coaches, teachers, doctors, politicians and the like. It’s a nearly universal practice and rarely even questioned (except sometimes by friends and relatives of the accused).

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"No comment"

Over the past week, here’s a partial list of states where Catholic officials have said "no comment" about clergy sex abuse lawsuits and allegations: Missouri, New Mexico, New Jersey, and Illinois.


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Happy Anniversary

Dear Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga

Happy anniversary. It was a decade ago next month when you essentially accused Jews of being behind media reports of clergy sex crimes and cover ups.

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We're excited about the Royal Commission in Australia

In the day since the Royal Commission into Child Abuse began, the commission has already received word that at least 5000 people want to give evidence. This is exciting news.

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Pope Francis hasn't done anything unusual or unexpected in regard to clergy sex abuse

"He's done something unusual/unexpected practically every day." That’s how an anonymous but high ranking Vatican official describes Pope Francis. 

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A new pope doesn't mean we can rest

We’ve talked a lot since the election of Pope Francis about how he has an enormous duty to protect kids and help prevent future sex abuse. But just because there is a new Pope doesn’t mean we can give church officials who have previously covered up crimes against children any slack.

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An exciting chance meeting!

In one of those amazing moments, we were on the square getting ready to head back up the hill when a reporter rushed up and said come with me. He brought us to meet Francesco Zanardi, a fellow survivor, from Savona.

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Rubbing Salt into Deep Wounds

In his first hours as the new head of the church, Pope Francis made a self-effacing joke, carried his own luggage, rode on a bus, paid his hotel bill and asked his flock to bless him.

Then, he visited Cardinal Bernard Law.

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First World Pope or Third World Pope?

“What’s best for kids, a pope from a developed nation or a developing nation?”

That’s what a journalist asked us today. Her theory was that in developed nations, prelates dealt with abuse more and that their experience would be helpful.

We disagree with both premises.

Experience can be positive, but only if one learns the right lesson from it. No prelate on the planet had dealt more with abuse than Benedict. Yet his experience apparently taught him that little in the church needed to change.


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