The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
Statement Regarding victims molested at a Santa Barbara seminary by Franciscan friars
For immediate release:
Statement by Eric Barragan of Ventura County,
"I hope that this settlement will help these brave and wounded people take one step further toward healing, validation and closure. Thanks to these survivors actions, others who are still suffering in silence, shame and self-blame will be encouraged to come forward and report the crimes.
No amount of money can ever bring back the childhood that has been stolen from these once trusting Catholics, nor take away the pain, self blame, ruptured faith and other long-term effects of the abuse they will continue to cope with. But I commend them for finding the courage and strength 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, NOT a change of heart and concern for victims and kids among the Catholic hierarchy.
Church leaders know that if cases go to trial, their cover-ups 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.
Catholics owe a huge debt of gratitude to these victims 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 ups, (at least in these 26 of approximately 560 sex abuse cases) in Los Angeles Archdiocese will finally be revealed to the public."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, SNAP Southwest Regional Director 949
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests