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‘Grossly insensitive and disrespectful’ – Top US cardinal goes ahead with Armagh mass despite protests by survivors of clerical abuse

Sarah Mac Donald Yesterday at 21:31 American prelate, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, ignored calls from Irish survivors of clerical abuse to step back from a mass yesterday to mark the 150th anniversary of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh. Cardinal Dolan, who is the Catholic archbishop of New York, was the chief celebrant at the mass in Armagh. However, survivors of clerical abuse in the diocese of Dromore, including victims of Fr Malachy Finegan, wrote to Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh ahead of the liturgy, describing themselves as “appalled” by the decision to invite the 73-year-old American prelate to the mass and “the role afforded to him as chief celebrant”. The American cardinal has been criticised for his role in transferring $57m into a special trust, when he was Archbishop of Milwaukee, in order to protect it from legal claims by clerical abuse victims. Other criticisms centre on a leaked 2017 transcript which suggested he sought to block the Child Victims Act, which extended the statute of limitations on victims of abuse in New York to pursue perpetrators in court The Dromore survivors group expressed solidarity with US abuse survivor Chris O’Leary, who alleges he was abused by American priest Fr LeRoy Valentine at Immacolata parish in Missouri, in St Louis archdiocese in the mid-1970s. Cardinal Dolan served in the same parish at the same time as Fr Valentine. Mr O’Leary expressed anger that the cardinal was being “feted” in Ireland. Speaking to, he accused the American prelate of brushing off his concerns in 2002 when he approached him as a bishop in St Louis to convey his concerns about Fr Valentine. Full Story Here >>>

Archdiocese of Baltimore talks bankruptcy; SNAP says the tactic benefits the Church, not survivors

For immediate release on September 22, 2023   In the wake of the passage of Maryland's Child Victims Act (CVA), which will go into effect on October 1, 2023, Archbishop William E. Lori is already saying that his Archdiocese may need to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  Considering that no lawsuits have been filed, we find it extremely troubling that the Archbishop is prematurely suggesting this legal maneuver. We believe that Catholic entities invoke the federal bankruptcy laws primarily to hide information, as well as to short-change for those who have suffered life-long damages because of unconscionable decisions to keep dangerous men in positions of authority. The bankruptcy tactic may benefit the Archdiocese, but it is disingenuous for the Archbishop to imply that he is doing this to be fair to survivors. What has been lacking in Baltimore, as in other Catholic dioceses, is accountability and transparency. Even the extensive report published by the Maryland Attorney General's Office contained redacted names of perpetrators and those who covered up abuse. Although all were ultimately revealed by the media, we think it is important to note that the Archdiocese itself refused to reveal those names. If Baltimore files for bankruptcy, those who brought lawsuits will become creditors, and the bankruptcy court will set a date by which any other claims must be filed. However, the bankruptcy court is unlikely to demand that the identities of any new abusers named in civil actions or in bankruptcy claims be publicized, and we know that we cannot count on the Archdiocese to take this step. Once again, there will be no truth or transparency.  

Catholic Priest Arrested in Ventura County for Possession of Child Porn; SNAP Sees Alarming Trend

(For Immediate Release September 15, 2023)    A Catholic priest working for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has been arrested for possessing child pornography in Ventura County. We applaud law enforcement for their work in this case and for following through on a tip provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.  Child pornography is a crime with many victims, many of whom may never realize that they were exploited until later in life. We know this level of abuse has been on the rise in many faith denominations and includes many predators and a tragically long shelf life. Fr.  Rodolfo Martinez-Guevara, 38, is a member of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit, Martinez-Guevara is associated with several churches including Our Lady of Guadalupe in Oxnard. He has been charged with possession or control of child pornography and aggravated possession of child pornography, containing more than 600 images.  His arraignment is scheduled for Sept. 15. He is in custody in lieu of a $750,000 bail bond. In December 2021, Martinez-Guevara was ordained by Bishop Robert Barron. Several criminal cases involving Catholic clergymen have been investigated. It is an alarming trend that religious life appears to be a haven for this type of criminal behavior and a breeding ground for digital delusions involving the lives of young, innocent people.  Now, Catholic officials in Los Angeles and Father Peter Artega, Provincial Superior of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit, must promptly call on any victims, witnesses, or whistleblowers with relevant information to come forward and provide it to law enforcement. Father Rodolfo Martinez-Guevara's complete pre-seminary, academic, and employment history must also be made public and reviewed, with the goal of determining whether any children were victimized at any of his posts. Studies have shown that 85% of those accused of related offenses involving child pornography also have been hands-on abusers. We are extremely concerned about the possibility of hands-on abuse in this case and beseech church officials, prosecutors, and the California Attorney General to do whatever it takes to identify the hands-on victims.  The Catholic leadership frequently asserts that instances of sexual abuse inside the Church are confined to historical occurrences. However, incidents such as the one at hand serve as evidence to the contrary. According to internal monitoring conducted by SNAP, law enforcement agencies in a minimum of 30 states have taken legal action, such as arrests or initiation of criminal procedures, against priests who are now living and actively employed, and who have been implicated in cases of sexual abuse. This necessitates that both parishioners and the general public remain attentive and proactive in safeguarding youngsters within their respective communities. CONTACT:   Melanie Sakoda, SNAP Survivor Support Director ([email protected], 925-708-6175), Mike McDonnell, SNAP Interim Executive Director ([email protected], 267-261-0578), Shaun Dougherty, SNAP Board of Directors President ([email protected], 814-341-8386) (SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 35 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is                                                                                                              ###  

Investigation into child abuse in the Swiss Catholic Church published; SNAP finds the numbers seriously short

For immediate release: September 13, 2023   A yearlong investigation into child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church in Switzerland was released on Tuesday. While we are encouraged by the fact that the report highlighted the systematic cover-up of such crimes within the Church, we would have to agree with the accompanying acknowledgement that the findings represent “only the tip of the iceberg.”    The study, commissioned by the Swiss Bishops’ Conference and undertaken by the University of Zurich’s Historical Seminar, released a report of their findings yesterday. The investigation documented 1,002 cases of abuse since the mid-20th century, cases involving 510 accused and 921 victims. However, comparing the findings to those from other places around the world, those numbers are seriously undercounted, as we were happy to see the report acknowledged.   Switzerland has 3.3 million Catholics. Northern California has only 2.8 Million. Yet 1100 perpetrators have been found in NorCal, more than twice the number found in the Swiss study. 2,000 victims filed lawsuits and countless more that have come forward quietly, again more than double the Swiss number. It is also likely that the number of victims in NorCal does not reveal the full extent of the damage done by the criminal behavior of priests. Not all victims survive, and not all survivors come forward. If each California abuser had only 30 victims -- and some will have many more -- we likely have as many as 33,000 boys and girls in NorCal who suffered life-long damage because of the systemic cover-up of crimes by the Catholic Church.    

The Parents of Ohioans for Child Protection and local, national survivors of SNAP Network call on Ohio AG for a full investigation

For Immediate Release August 15, 2023 Northern District of Ohio | Northeast Ohio Priest Sentenced to Life in Prison for Sex Trafficking Minors, Exploitation and Child Pornography | United States Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs | Jury Convicts Priest of Sex Trafficking Three Victims in Northern Ohio | United States Department of Justice Rev. David Morrier sentenced to probation for sexual battery | News, Sports, Jobs - The Herald Star ( Cincinnati priest pleads guilty to raping altar boy, gets 7 years in deal with prosecutors ( Glouster priest sentenced to 12 years in prison for unlawful sex with minor parishioner | Local News |   WHAT The parents of Ohioans for Child Protection and local, national survivors of SNAP Network and other concerned members of the community will be holding a press conference to publicly ask Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost to conduct a statewide investigation of the history and scope of child sexual abuse, trafficking, child sex abuse enabling and cover up in Ohio’s 6 Dioceses.    

Victims push for new abuse probe; D.C. Presser 8/13 1:30pm

Victims push for new abuse probe They ask DC AG to open investigation SNAP: 'Dozens of abusers are/were here but remain hidden' And they prod DC’s archbishop to reveal more predators WHAT Holding signs and childhood photos, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will hold a sidewalk news conference revealing the names of the "DC's Most Dangerous Dozen Child Molesting Clerics" - 12 proven, admitted &/or credibly accused predator priests who --are still alive and presumably a threat to children now, --are or were working and or living in the District of Columbia BUT --are NOT on the official DC Catholic archdiocesan 'credibly accused' list. They will also release copies of two letters they're sending: --one to DC Attorney General Brian Schwalb, urging him to launch a 'thorough, full-scale investigation, like 25 other AGs across the US have done, into Catholic clergy sex crimes and cover-ups in the Washington DC archdiocese,’ and --one to DC Cardinal Wilton Gregory, urging him to add those names, and dozens of others, to his “woefully inaccurate and inadequate” list of 'credibly accused' abusive clerics on the archdiocesan website.          

Diocese of Oakland priest accused of child sexual abuse in a current lawsuit still in ministry in Orinda

For immediate release July 1, 2023 Diocese of Oakland priest accused of child sexual abuse in a current lawsuit still in ministry in Orinda As far as SNAP can tell, the faithful were never alerted and the cleric was never suspended Survivors’ group wonders why the promises of the Dallas Charter were ignored? Victims and advocates urge Bishop Michael Barber to be transparent with the parishioners of his Diocese and the public and explain why this happened

Take Action and Stop Child Sexual Abuse

If you see child sexual abuse, or have a reasonable suspicion of sexual abuse or your child has been sexually abused, call 911 or your local police immediately. 

If you suspect abuse, call the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or visit the Child Help Hotline. Trained crisis operators staff the lines 24/7 to answer your questions. If necessary, they will show you how to report in your local area.

Child pornography is a federal crime. If you see or suspect images that may be child pornography, report to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children CyberTip Line



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