SNAP was invited to testify before the Royal Commission into Sex Abuse convened by Prime Minister Julia Gillard. SNAP President and Founder Barbara Blaine made the 28 hour trip and our Australian leaders Nicky Davis and Mark Fabro all testified not only to their own experiences but also to the scope of the abuse and cover-up by church officials.
A Baptist minister, John Langworthy, faces charges in Mississippi of "gratification of lust." He is accused of molesting at least five kids.
A grant writer, Margaret Mata had a good job finding funding for the Kansas City diocese. Then she learned that diocesan officials were not telling the truth about the Fr. Shawn Ratigan child porn and cover-up case.
Yesterday, SNAP stood with over a dozen clergy abuse survivors in Kansas City, who had been part of a large settlement with the diocese in 2008. What makes this event so unusual is that these peope had included 19 non-economic conditions as part of their settlement. In just three short years, officials have violated at least six of those promises over twenty times.
Recently, a friend and supporter sent me a link to Holy Watergate in German. If you're unaware of Holy Watergate, it's a documentary by powerful film-maker Mary Healey who tracks the horrific stories of five victims from their life before abuse to what it is like today. It examines nineteen years of cover-up and criminality from the church across the country and is a very well made testament to how the clergy abuse crisis has been handled. Below is the link to the film, available in its entirety in German. Part 1 is also available in English.
Calls and emails have been coming from survivors and supporters from around the world. We're hearing from a range of countries: China, Argentina, Russia, Spain, Italy, South Africa, Germany, the UK, Kenya, Netherlands, Chile, Brazil, Poland, France Venezuela, and the Philippines. We are becoming experts using Google Translate!
Today I received sad news; SNAP has lost a very good friend. After a long battle with kidney and liver problems, Steve Rabi of Albuquerque, NM passed away. Steve had been a SNAP leader for about a decade.
Steve spent countless hours working to recover from his own abuse, reaching out to others in pain, consoling and guiding them, exposing wrongdoing in the church, reforming predator-friendly laws, and prodding church officials to act responsibly. And he hung in there, despite long odds and slow progress, year after year after year. We in SNAP are very grateful to him for his leadership. Hundreds of once alone, hurting and confused victims found some degree of solace and support because he worked so hard, gave so much, and refused to give up.
SNAP leaders, supporters, and family members organize demonstrations in both Chicago and Long Beach, CA
I feel so inspired and motivated after this weekend, thanks to the powerful events that we held today! SNAP leaders, supporters, and family members of a brave survivor all came together to organize demonstrations in both Chicago and Long Beach, CA to protect children from a child molesting Buddhist monk. In case you haven’t heard the story – broken because a brave survivor spoke up – Camnong Boa-Ubol, a monk who previously worked at a Buddhist temple in Chicago, had been accused of raping and impregnating a 14-year-old girl, and DNA test results have shown that he is the father of that child. When his temple was informed of his crime, Boa-Ubol was supposedly sent back to Thailand, but he has recently resurfaced in another temple in Long Beach, and temple officials say there is nothing they can do to control where he goes or what he does. This is incredibly distressing, especially since he has recently been accused of molesting a 12-year-old girl at his new temple!
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.