The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Thursday, May 13, 2010
Diocese of Vermont to pay $17.6M to sex-abuse victims; SNAP responds
Statement by David Clohessy (314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915 home), Executive Director of SNAP
Vermont's bishop is making a business deal here, that's all. Anyone who assumes this somehow suggests 'reform' in the diocese is naive.
The credit for this settlement lies squarely with the brave victims who had the strength to come forward, the wisdom to seek justice in the courts, and determination to persist despite years of expensive, futile and self-serving legal maneuvers by Vermont’s bishop.
No amount of money can possibly restore the shattered childhoods, the broken trust, and the devastated emotional lives of these courageous but wounded men and women. We hope they feel some healing and closure at this point. We know they have exposed horrific wrongdoing - both by predator priests and their complicit colleagues. For that, all Vermonters should be grateful
It's crucial that this settlement be seen as what it is: a purely business decision by Matano, and nothing more. We must remember that he repeatedly fought disclosure and settlement.
We applaud these brave victims whose actions have helped protect kids. We hope this settlement will help victims continue to move toward healing.
We urge each of these victims to stay in therapy, keep attending support groups, and avoid the tempting assumption that this agreement will magically 'cure' depression, addictions, and other long term damaging effects of terrible childhood trauma and betrayal.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 22 years and have more than 9,000 members. 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 SNAPnetwork.org)
Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Mark Serrano (703-727-4940), Barbara Dorris (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests