Roster of Press Releases


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Sex abuse victims push for pedophile priests' names

They also urge bishop to house & monitor predators

SNAP says Catholics "need & deserve the truth about" two accused clerics

Self help organization also prods victims and witnesses to "report to police officials, not church officials"


Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will publicly urge Buffalo's Catholic bishop to
-- release & post on his website the names of all proven, admitted and credibly accused child-molesting clerics,
-- house and monitor them (so that they will get treatment and so that kids will be safer), and
-- 'come clean' with his flock about two credibly accused priests about whom the diocese has not been 'fully forthcoming'

They will also beg anyone with information about clergy sex crimes and cover ups to
-- find the courage to speak up and get help, and
-- contact police officials, not church officials.

Friday, Sept. 11, 11:00 a.m.

Outside the Buffalo Catholic Diocese headquarters, 795 Main Street (near Burton St.) in Buffalo

Two clergy sex abuse victims including a Missouri woman who was molested as a child and who is the outreach director of a nationwide support group called SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused Priests (

Catholic bishops in roughly a dozen US dioceses have released lists of known abusive priests. (They include Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Toledo, Baltimore, and (most recently) Philadelphia.)

SNAP feels this is a 'bare minimum' move that helps protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded (especially since most pedophile priests never face criminal charges or appear on sex offender registries).

Even fewer bishops (including St. Louis and Philadelphia) house and monitor their dangerous and potentially dangerous child molesting clerics. According to an independent research group called, 14 Buffalo priests are credibly accused sex offenders. While some have died, SNAP believes most walk free, live independently, and get little/inadequate church supervision. Similarly, across the US, while hundreds of the roughly 5,000 US pedophile priests have died or are locked up, most now quietly live unsupervised, on their own, in neighborhoods where parents are unaware of their crimes. This puts kids at risk of more abuse.

Bishops recruit, educate, ordain, hire, supervise, transfer, shield, and defend priests, some of whom molest kids. So SNAP feels church officials have a moral and civic duty to do more than merely suspend them. The church should, SNAP believes, centrally house and oversee them in remote, secure, widely publicized and professionally-run centers. This ensures that the predators get treatment and that kids are protected.

(Many of the pedophiles can’t be jailed because church officials successfully concealed their crimes for so long. This further increases bishops’ obligation to oversee these criminals.)

SNAP wants Buffalo's bishop to take both of these steps - disclosing the identities of predators and housing/monitoring them better.

Finally, the group is concerned about a lack of clarity by church officials regarding two accused molesters, Fr. Timothy Kelley and Fr. James H. Cotter.

In 2003, Kelley was accused of molesting two boys, one of whom filed a civil lawsuit against him (which was later allegedly dismissed). Kelley denied both allegations. In 2007, California church officials put Cotter's name on a list of priests facing "credible allegations." He too was sued, allegedly faced two more accusers, and at least one of his victims was paid a settlement.

In each case, SNAP maintains that the bishop owes his flock more information. Regardless of the outcome of litigation, SNAP believes the bishop should disclose to parishioners whether he considers the allegations credible or not. And church officials should use their websites, diocesan newspaper and parish bulletins to reach out to others who may have been hurt by these clerics and other diocesan staff, SNAP says.

Kelley is believed to be alive; Cotter is deceased. But kids will be safer and healing will happen better if Buffalo's bishop discloses more of what is known about both men, SNAP maintains.

(SNAP is an independent, confidential, Chicago-based self help group, started in 1988, with 9,000 members across the country. Its goals are to protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded.)

David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP national director (314) 566 9790 cell
Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP national outreach director (314) 503 0003 cell
Mark Lyman 518-852-7295,

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests