SNAP
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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Friday, March 25, 2011

500+ victims settle with Jesuits in Chapter 11; SNAP responds

Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach CA, western regional director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (949 322 7434, jcasteix@gmail.com)

Today's announcement is another horrifying chapter in the Jesuits' long legacy of sexual abuse and cover-up. Many of the hundreds of kids sexually assaulted by Jesuits were extraordinarily vulnerable Native American and Alaska Native children living in tiny, remote villages. They had no escape and no one to turn to when they were attacked. Others were violated in remote rural areas across Idaho, Montana and other northwest states.

These children, and all of the victims of abuse in this settlement, found the strength to come forward, expose predators and seek justice. Some did it for healing. Many did it to protect other kids. We applaud each of them for their courage and compassion.

Jesuit officials sought bankruptcy protection to preserve their secrets, and continue to keep their complicity covered up. It was never about them protecting their assets. It was about them protecting their secrets. They should be ashamed of themselves for exploiting the court system to prevent trials that would have exposed the ways they ignored and concealed knowledge and suspicions of child sex crimes.

The Jesuits should also be ashamed for pretending that this huge, wealthy, world-wide religious order – the largest on the planet – is somehow divided into completely autonomous ‘regions’ that don’t and can’t share resources. When it’s advantageous for church officials to cry ‘poverty’, they cling to and exploit artificial boundaries. And when it’s advantageous for them to do the reverse (like when they apply for government-back low-interest loans), church officials claim to be part of a world-wide financial empire.,

But no amount of money, of course, can replace a stolen childhood, a destroyed family, or a broken soul. Still, we hope this settlement will bring sorely-needed consolation to many suffering men and women. We also hope it might help deter those who commit and conceal child sex crimes, especially secretive religious entities that even now operate largely without any real oversight.

We are grateful to the brave victims who came forward. We hope that those who are still suffering in shame and silence find the strength to get help and healing. Finally, we encourage law enforcement to carefully review all of the documentation in these cases and file charges against offenders and enablers wherever possible.

(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 23 years and have more than 10,000 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)

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, peterisely@yahoo.com), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
www.snapnetwork.org