The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statements

Statement Regarding Springfield, MA
Settlement Agreement

For immediate release:
Thursday, July 22, 2004

For more information:
David Clohessy of St. Louis, National Director (314) 566 9790 cell
Peter Pollard of Springfield MA, 413-247-3271

(Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, who was sexually abused in the Diocese of Toledo, OH. She is the founder and president of SNAP.)

"We hope that this settlement will help these wounded people take one step further toward healing and closure.

We commend them for having the courage to come forward, report their abuse, and prod church leaders toward change

At the same time, we know there is no sudden, magical "cure all" that erases years of pain, self blame, broken trust, shattered self confidence, ruptured faith, and the other horrific long term effects of childhoold victimization.

So we hope these victims will remain in therapy and self help groups so that their recovery can continue.

We caution Catholics against reading more into this settlement than they should. Sadly, it is most likely a business decision by the church lawyers and accountants, designed in part to prevent evidence of cover ups from being presented in open court. We doubt that it signals any transformation or improvement in how church leaders really feel about and act toward abuse victims.

Finally, we hope that this news will encourage others who are still trapped in silence and self-blame to report these crimes to police and prosecutors. We also hope they will turn to us for support

The church is safer only when victims find the strength and courage to come forward and report these crimes."

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests