SNAP Legal Action

The landing page for all information related to the SNAP and CCR filing in the International Criminal Court which names Pope Benedict and other church officials in a lawsuit alleging systemic human rights violations. Here you will find important documents and fact sheets, and will also be able to show your support for abuse survivors.

Welcome to the landing page for all things related to the SNAP and CCR lawsuit filed against Vatican officials and Pope Benedict for human rights violations. Below you will find informative documents and links to other important websites.

SNAP and CCR file supplemental evidence on April 11, 2012

  • Read the supplemental filing here

Editorials by SNAP Leadership on the ICC filing:

  • Op-ed by David Clohessy, SNAP Director, in the Star-Tribune: Read it here.
  • Op-ed by Barbara Blaine, SNAP President. in the Guardian: Read it here.

Documents, News, and Fact Sheets:

  1. Press release
  2. Press advisory for DC and NYC
  3. Facts of the case
  4. Complete text of the filing communication to the ICC
  5. Statements by SNAP Leaders
  6. Biographies of SNAP and CCR members involved
  7. List of cities on the Europe tour and times of events
  8. ICC Letter from Prosecution 
  9. "Abuse Victims ask Court to Prosecute the Vatican"- New York Times
  10. "Hague Court Declines Inquiry into Church Abuse Cover-up"- New York Times

Links for more information:

What experts on law and religion are saying:

  • "The legal situation is not yet clear," but that the dossier submitted "re-opens the question over a cover-up in the 1980s and 1990s. The problem remains that the Vatican has not opened its archives and has not even launched an international investigation into its dioceses around the world." - Marco Politi, Vatican Expert and commentator for Il Fatto Quotidiano. Taken from the Montreal Gazette. 
  • "It is a very slim avenue, but it's an avenue nonetheless," - Lorraine Smith, International Bar Association. Taken from Reuters. 
  • "You get a great deal of publicity," "And you put new pressure on the national courts, letting them know that if they don't prosecute there are alternatives." - William Burke White, Deputy Dean and Professer of Law at UPenn. Taken from the Bellingham Herald.
  •  "At least since 2001-2002, [Pope Benedict] has at least had primary responsibility for these cases," "It's unlikely that the court will take this up, but they won't be able to dismiss it easily. They may have to open up a preliminary investigation." - Laurie Goodstein, Religion correspondent for the New York Times. Taken from PRI.
  • "Jurisdiction is a hurdle. "The court has handled war crimes, but the argument can be made that the abuse of children is as tragic and heinous as anything. It's a crime against humanity." - Mike Pfau, Seattle attorney. Taken from the Seattle Times.
  • The complaint to the ICC "suddenly reframes the issue in the public consciousness." - Tim Kosnoff, Seattle attorney. Taken from the Seattle Times.
  • "The ICC filing marks the most substantive effort yet to hold the pope and Vatican accountable in an international court for sexual abuse by priests." - Nathan Koppel, WSJ contributor. Taken from the Wall Street Journal.
  • "The Holy See is a sovereign, which like all other sovereigns, must be accountable for violations of human rights.  SNAP's action under the ICC is timely and appropriate.  If successful, it will secure more protection for children not just against the Holy See, but all sovereigns." - Marci A. Hamilton, Paul R. Verkuil Chair in Public Law Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law Yeshiva University

 

Media Statements

SNAP Stands in Solidarity with Abuse Survivors from the Boy Scouts

In the past several weeks, hundreds of survivors of abuse at the hands of Boy Scout leaders have come forward . SNAP stands with these brave survivors as they share what happened to them and to seek to prevent future children from being abused.


Priest with “Substantiated Allegations” Found Working for School in Tucson


SNAP Philadelphia Encouraged by Reform Bills in PA Legislature

This month, Pennsylvania has continued the fight to reform child sex crime laws as House lawmakers approved two key reform measures and freshman Senators in the other house introduced a third counter bill aimed at similar purposes. 


SCOTUS Declines to Hear Case Against the Diocese of Palm Beach, SNAP Reacts


Ex-Columbia serial predator priest to stay in jail; Victims applaud new ruling

An admitted serial predator priest who worked in Columbia lost his bid for a bond reduction yesterday and will remain jailed in St. Louis County facing more child sex abuse charges.


Lawsuit Alleges “Systemic” Abuse at D.C. Synagogue

For immediate release: April 16, 2019

To ignore warnings and expressions of concern about a child care worker brought forward by one person is bad enough, but for an educator to disregard repeated reports by both parents and teachers is unconscionable. 

We have no first hand knowledge about the allegations of “systemic” child sexual abuse at the Edlavitch Tyser Early Childhood Center. However, we know that false allegations of child sexual abuse are extremely rare, so our hearts ache for the children and their families who have filed police reports and are suing the Center. We hope that the boys and girls involved are getting the therapy and support they need.


The Problems with “Credibility” and Review Boards


Diocese of Kansas City Finally Begins Work on List of Accused Clerics


Pope Benedict Shifts the Blame for Clergy Sex Abuse

Pope Benedict is again rubbing salt into the wounds of victims and trying to burnish his own deservedly-tarred reputation by blaming others for the church's decades-old abuse and cover up crisis.


SNAP Grateful to Jurors in New Mexico Abuse Case

For immediate release: April 11, 2019

We are relieved that Fr. Arthur Perrault, accused of molesting more than 30 children, has been found guilty. We are grateful to the jurors for listening to the painful testimony heard in this case and for reaching a just verdict.​


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