Roster of Statements


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pedophile priest case tossed out, Sex abuse victims respond

Statement by Peter Isely of Milwaukee, SNAP Midwest Director (414) 429 7259 cell

We are very distressed that Catholic officials have succeeded in protecting pedophiles rather than kids. This decision is a massive victory for dangerous predators and irresponsible employers, especially corrupt church officials.

This ruling will make it very hard for many child sex abuse victims to safeguard others, expose predators, and seek justice. It gives employers and molesters strong incentives to destroy evidence, intimidate victims, threaten whistleblowers, discredit witnesses, conceal crimes and 'run out the clock' on child sex cases.

It stands in stark contrast to the long-standing trend across the US to open court house doors, not slam them, on men and women who are devastated by horrific child sex crimes.

All sex crime victims want is the same option other crime victims have - the chance to use the time-tested, open, impartial American justice system to alert others about wrongdoing. When the victims of awful sex crimes are given their ‘day in court,’ predators can be exposed, unsuspecting parents can be warned, vulnerable children can be protected, and wounded victims can be healed. Now, however, Illinois Catholic officials have, in large measure, denied hundreds of suffering individuals this basic right.

It is a tragedy that Catholic bishops even try to use legal technicalities like this to try and evade their molar responsibilities. This callous ruling will just encourage church authorities to keep playing legal hardball with victim’s lives and with children’s safety, using hundreds of thousands of dollars from generous parishioners.

It’s heart-breaking that there’s apparently no justice for this brave, compassionate man, and there are no consequences for this priest's child sex crimes or his supervisors' complicity.

Despite this dreadful news, we hope deeply wounde child sex victims will continue to find the strength to come forward, get help, start recovering and do what they can to warn families about dangerous sex offenders.

(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 21 years and have more than 9,000 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

David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP National Director (314) 566-9790 cell
Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP Founder and President (312) 399-4747 cell
Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP Outreach Director (314) 503-0003

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests