The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statements

Statement On Orange Cty. Diocese
Settlement Agreement

For immediate release:
Friday, December 3, 2004

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis
SNAP National Director
(314) 566 9790 cell

"I hope that this settlement will help these wounded people take one step further toward healing and closure. May their actions encourage others who are still suffering in silence, shame and self-blame to come forward and report the crimes.

No amount of money can ever bring back the chilldhood innocence that has been stolen from these once trusting Catholics, nor erase the pain, self blame, ruptured faith and other long-term effects of the abuse they endured. But I commend them for finding the courage to break their silence and demand accountability.

I 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. Church leaders know that if cases go to trial, their coverups and complicity will be exposed. so they often settle to prevent the full truth from becoming known. It would be naive and dangerous to assume it is a sign of real reform.

I admire these persistent survivors who had the wisdom to seek justice in the time-tested, impartial American judicial system. That's where real healing and prevention can take place, not thru untested, secretive church channels.

I particularly admire these survivors for insisting on document disclosure. Victims come forward for two reasons: to protect kids in the future, and to try and get the truth revealed. Catholics who care about the future of their church should commend them for insisting that secret church records of cover up in Orange County will finally be revealed to the public."

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests