Media Statements

MO- Victims group applauds family for speaking out against abuser

For immediate release: July 12, 2013

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)

First, we commend this brave family for cooperating with law enforcement. That takes courage and compassion.

It’s always easiest to do nothing. It’s always tempting to believe an adult over a child (especially a trusted religious authority figure). It’s always easy to naively assume that wrongdoing was unintentional or a one time “slip.” It’s always appealing to worry strictly about oneself and let others worry about protecting other kids.

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ON- Former principal pleads guilty to child pornography

Statement by Barbara Dorris, Outreach Director, 314-862-7688 SNAPdorris@gmail.com

A former Niagara Falls principal and priest at a Catholic high school has been convicted of possession of child pornography. After pleading guilty, Rheal LeBlanc was sentenced to 14 days in jail to be carried out on the weekends.

This punishment is unfit for this heinous crime. Child pornography is often an indication of larger, more threatening issues. A full investigation into his history must take place in order to insure that LeBlanc is not a threat to children. 

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MA- Group applauds man for suing predator priest

For immediate release: July 11, 2013

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)

A victim of sexual assault has filed a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield as well as against Bishop McDonnell and a former pastor for allowing abuse by Fr. Paul Archambault to occur for years.

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Vitcims blast Pope’s “tiny tweaking” of abuse rule

For immediate release: July 11, 2013

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790,SNAPclohessy@aol.com)

For the Vatican’s image, this is a successful move. For children’s safety, this is another setback.

It’s a setback because it will help foster the false impression of reform and will lead to more complacency.

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OK- Tulsa pastor charged with sexual abuse, SNAP responds

For immediate release: Wednesday July 10, 2013

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790,SNAPclohessy@aol.com)

A Tulsa pastor, Rev. Gregory Hawkins, was charged with sexual abuse of a teenage girl. The 15-year-old girl is now five months pregnant with Hawkins’ child. Hawkins is also the owner of Zion Child Care & Learning Center.

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SC- Victims blast SC churches on abuse

For immediate release: Wednesday July 10, 2013

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790,SNAPclohessy@aol.com)

A new South Carolina study finds that in child abuse cases “churches often stand between victims and help” and that churches “were least likely to report abuse and sometimes covered it up, urging victims to forgive their abusers instead of reporting them,” according to today's New York Times.

This is very distressing. Churches know better. But time and time again, church officials and members timidly put their selfish interests above the safety of kids.

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UN panel seeks Vatican abuse/cover up info

For immediate release: Tuesday, July 7

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)

A United Nations panel is seeking information from Vatican officials about clergy sex crimes and cover ups. We are grateful for this and hope it inspires other international institutions to take similar steps to protect the vulnerable, heal the wounded, expose the truth and prevent more heinous crimes.

The ongoing sexual violence against children by priests and the enabling of those crimes by bishops should outrage the global community. And this horror will continue until more secular authorities show insist that the Catholic hierarchy honor common sense laws and practices that prosecute those who commit and conceal child sex crimes and safeguard those who suffer child sex crimes.

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IL-"Don't deport predator priest," SNAP says

For immediate release: Tuesday, July 9

Statement by Barbara Dorris Outreach director for SNAP 314-862-7688 SNAPDorris@gmail.com

We oppose deporting Fr. Alejandro Flores, a proven predator. Kids in Bolivia are even more vulnerable to this criminal than kids are in the US.

We realize that this is a controversial position to take. But we believe Fr. Flores should be kept in the US and forced by his church supervisors to live indefinitely in a remote, secure, independently-run treatment center where he’ll be kept away from children. That’s what’s best for children.

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KC - Teeman case settles, SNAP responds

We believe that church officials agreed to settle this case because proof of the cover-up of these horrific crimes would have been made public during the course of this trial. We are grateful to the Teeman family for their courage and for putting aside their pain in order to protect others. 

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CA - Judge rules against predator priest, SNAP responds

For immediate release: Wednesday, July 3

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)

We are grateful that a judge ruled today against a predator priest who claimed his abuse admission should not be heard as evidence in a criminal case.

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Austria - Victims applaud conviction of Austrian predator priest

For immediate release Wednesday, July 3

Statement by Barbara Dorris, Outreach Director, SNAPdorris@gmail.com 314-862-7688

An Austrian court has charged Alfons August Mandorfer, a Catholic priest from Kremsmuenster, Austria, with sexually and physically abusing dozens of boys and has sentenced him to 15 years in prison.

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CO- Woman sues Denver priest for sexual assault

For immediate release Wednesday, July 3

Our hearts ache for this brave woman who in her grief over the death of a close friend sought help from Fr. Jose Saenz. Instead of comforting her and helping her to cope Saenz sexually assaulted her. Catholic priests hold themselves out as counselors and spiritual leaders, encouraging Catholics to come to them for guidance. Saenz had both a moral and a civil obligation to protect this vulnerable woman.

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