Roster of Statements


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Victims skeptical of Springfield Catholic Diocese new program

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, national president member of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747)

Often, in our experiences, these programs are more about protecting secrets and bishops than about helping victims and families. While these efforts may result in some compensation for deeply wounded victims, church officials often require victims to sign away many legal rights to get that compensation.

Flawed though it may be, our courts have often proven to be a good way to expose the truth, get justice and deter wrongdoing. Like other crime victims, clergy sex abuse victims, should be able to use the justice system to warn others about and protect others from predatory priests and corrupt bishops.

At the end of the process, some victims may end up with sorely-needed funds for therapy. But everyone else involved - the police, prosecutors, parishioners and public - are denied the chance to learn exactly who's cover up horrific clergy sex crimes and just how widespread those cover ups are.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the nation's oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We've been around for 17 years and have more than 8,000 members across the country. Despite the word "priest" in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is

Contact David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, 314-645-5915 home), Peter Isely (414-429-7259) Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688), Mary Grant (626-419-2930), Mark Serrano (703-727-4940)

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests