Media Statements

MA--Victims blast Boston Cardinal over “posturing”

For immediate release: Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Statement by Ann Webb, former co-director of Boston SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (annhaganwebb@gmail.com)
It’s so tiresome watching Cardinal Sean O’Malley posture about clergy sex crime and cover ups. The latest example: his comments today about Spotlight. By shrewdly using words like “historical” and “forgiveness,” he perpetuates the comforting but irresponsible myth that most of this is “in the past,” when he knows that’s just not true. 
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Grand jury report blasts PA bishops; Victims respond

For immediate release: Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

Another grand jury has found that Catholic officials respond deceitfully to child sex abuse reports. We’re saddened but not the least bit surprised. It proves what we’ve long maintained: that even now, under the guise of “reform,” bishops continue to deceive parishioners and the public about their on-going efforts to hide abuse.

http://www.post-gazette.com/news/state/2016/03/01/Staggering-abuse-cover-up-in-Altoona-Johnstown-diocese-grand-jury-says/stories/201603010091

https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/uploadedFiles/MainSite/Content/Related_Content/PressReleases/GJ%20Diocese%20Report.pdf

We hope this investigation will prod similar ones across the US.

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MI--Predator priest admits guilt; Victims respond

For immediate release: Monday, Feb. 29, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790314 645 5915 home,davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

We're grateful that an ex-priest has pled guilty to more child sex crimes. We hope this news will prod others that he has hurt to come forward. (See attorney general’s news release below.)

Fr. James Francis Rapp has already been convicted on other child sex charges and is imprisoned. So it would have been easy for law enforcement to look the other way when more victims surfaced.

But Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed more child sex charges against him for molesting kids at Jackson Lumen Christi Catholic High School in Jackson in the 1980s.

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NY--Victims respond to Spotlight Oscar victory

For immediate release: Monday, Feb. 29, 2016

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)

Our hearts are filled with gratitude for the two outstanding Spotlight teams: the one that did the work and the one that did the film. At the same time, however, our hearts ache for every single victim of sexual violence, especially those whose perpetrators and enablers continue to live, work and cause more pain while under the radar.

The overwhelming majority of abuse victims never speak up. The overwhelming majority of predators and their allies are never “outed.” This must change if kids are to be safer.

We hope more journalists and editors and police and prosecutors will dig deeper and work harder. We hope every single person who has suspected or seen child sex crimes or cover ups – no matter how old, small or seemingly insignificant – will call independent, experienced sources of help, not church officials. And we hope every single survivor of these crimes and cover ups will overcome their fears, break their silence, expose the wrongdoers and help protect the children.

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CA--The real Oscar winners tonight

For immediate release: Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, founder of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747, bblaine@SNAPnetwork.org)

We already know who the winners are at the Oscars. They're the same folks who “win” every single time someone watches, discusses, or reads a review of Spotlight.

It's children.

No matter which Hollywood types walk away with those statues tonight, kids are the real winners. They are safer because the movie Spotlight has prompted hundreds of thousands to think, talk and take action about child sex crimes and cover ups, even or especially in trusted institutions.

These adults are more careful now with babysitters. They are more attentive to changes in kids’ behavior. They more skeptical about claims by officials about alleged “openness,” “care” and “prudence” about kids’ safety.

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Vatican--US group praises Ballarat abuse victims in Rome for Pell testimony

For immediate release, February 27, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com )

The leaders and members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) are grateful to and empowered by our fellow Australian survivors now in Rome for the testimony of ex-Melbourne Archbishop George Pell. We admire them for their courage and resourcefulness and hope their trip brings them healing and inspires hope and bravery in other survivors across the globe. 

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OR--Predator priest sued for first time; Victims respond

For immediate release: Friday, Feb. 26, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

We applaud the brave man who is exposing an Oregon predator priest, Fr. Emmerich Vogt. As best we can tell, this is the first time this cleric has been “outed” as a credibly accused child molester. He’s the 89th publicly accused Portland archdiocesan predator priest.

http://katu.com/news/local/lawsuit-claims-priest-sexually-abused-portland-boy

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CA--Kansas predator priest works now in California.

Catholic Charities Diocese of San Diego

349 Cedar Street

San Diego, CA 92101

 

Dear Sister DuVall:

Your agency no doubt does wonderful work for and with many vulnerable families. But why are you risking their safety by employing Fr. Paul Hosler? For the well-being of your staff and clients, we urge you to fire him.

For 17 years, he’s been “on leave” from the Kansas City archdiocese. We believe he has sexually exploited at least one vulnerable adult parishioner who went to him for counseling. We suspect he has done the same to other families, some of whom are likely suffering in shame, since and self-blame.

In the 27 years our group has been around, we’ve seen hundreds of predator priests – those who brutally abuse children and those who shrewdly manipulate adults – move from active ministry into other jobs where they can gain access to and power over vulnerable families and gratify their urges and devastate more lives. Do not let this happen at Catholic Charities.

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MI--Predator priest dies; Victims blast archbishop

For immediate release: Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

A predator priest, Fr. Louis Grandpre, has passed away. As best we can tell, Detroit Archbishop Allen Vignernon kept this quiet, denying abuse victims months of comfort. Vignernon seems incapable of handling any part of the church’s on-going abuse and cover up crisis with honesty and compassion.  Shame on him for not letting parents, parishioners and the public know about this predator’s passing.

http://deathnotices.michigan.com/view-single.php?id=1000018261&token=#share

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WI--National paper compares 2 Catholic bankruptcies; Milwaukee looks bad

For immediate release: Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

An independent Catholic newspaper has compared church bankruptcies in Milwaukee WI and Helena MT. Predictably and rightfully, Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki is exposed as particularly callous and foolishly litigious.

http://ncronline.org/news/accountability/bankruptcy-dealings-helena-diocese-sets-alternate-example

Both dioceses “faced two dozen lawsuits” and “established $21 million funds to compensate victims” though Milwaukee is much larger,” the National Catholic Reporter found, but

--Helena settled in 13 months” while “Milwaukee took nearly five years,”

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AZ--Hearing today for ex-priest accused of murder

For immediate release: Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

We are disappointed that an accused murderer and ex-priest is fighting extradition to Texas from Phoenix. We hope his bid to keep evading justice fails and that the court system moves quickly to try him.

And we’re disappointed that his long-time former Catholic colleagues are apparently doing nothing to persuade him to face justice or to help law enforcement prosecute him. For more than a half century, John Feit has been the sole suspect in the murder of Irene Garza.

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NJ--Predator priest dies; Victims blast archbishop

For immediate release: Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2014

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

A predator priest, Fr. Gerald P. Ruane, has passed away. As best we can tell, Newark Archbishop John Myers kept this quiet, denying abuse victims months of comfort. Myers seems incapable of handling any part of the church’s on-going abuse and cover up crisis with honesty and compassion.

http://www.obitsforlife.com/obituary/1152484/Ruane--Rev-Gerald.php

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