The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statements
Regarding appointment of SNAP member to Metuchen (NJ) Review Board
February 6, 2003
Matt Kelly, SNAP NJ Communications Director, made the following statement today:
'Leaders from the Survivors
Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP
The meeting was originally requested by the Diocese of Metuchen to explore ways for the groups to work together in supporting clergy abuse victims and assist the diocese with its approach to claims of sexual abuse by priests.
This is the first time that SNAP has been granted a seat on a review board despite making the same request at the diocesan level and at the national level since last year. It is the first appointment of its kind in the nation for SNAP.
Both with his willingness
to settle lawsuits with victims last week and his appointment of
a SNAP member to his review board, Bishop Bootkoski has
This appointment is very significant for victims of clergy abuse who are still silent about their abuse. To have a survivor with the leading clergy abuse support group present on the review board will empower victims to break their silence, report their abuse to the diocese and to law enforcement, and then begin the healing process. Too often victims remain silent because they are suspect or feel intimidated by the makeup of the review board that hears their claims.
A SNAP member offers a review board credentials that are unique from already having heard dozens and sometimes hundreds of clergy abuse victims' stories in a non-clinical, self-help support atmosphere through our SNAP support group meetings. The newly appointed SNAP survivor to the Metuchen review board is anxious to begin assisting victims through their journey of healing.
We hope that bishops around the country will follow the lead of Bishop Bootkoski and appoint SNAP members to their review boards. Bishop Bootkoski has agreed to an ongoing dialogue where SNAP representatives can offer input and criticism on the Diocese of Metuchen in its efforts to comply with the new church policy on child sexual abuse by church personnel. While SNAP has been on the record extensively in opposition to the "revised norms" approved by the Vatican, we welcome the opportunity to play a role in promoting safe churches in the Diocese of Metuchen for children today and the healing of victims as well."
For More Information, contact:
Matt Kelly, SNAP NJ Communications
Director cell (973) 714-8099
Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests