Schedule of Speakers and Events

2015 SNAP Annual Conference Schedule of speakers and events

quick reference schedule

breakout sessions


4:30-7:30 pm  Check in at Registration Desk

7:00-7:20pm  David Clohessy  Our Second Quarter Century-Where Do We Go From Here? 

SNAP Executive Director David Clohessy will look at what enabled SNAP to become “the world’s oldest and largest support and advocacy group for clergy sex abuse victims,” focusing on strategies and tactics that worked and didn’t work, and what this suggests for our collective future as we expand and continue to “protect the vulnerable, heal the wounded, expose the truth and deter both child sex crimes and cover ups.”

7:20-7:50  Ross Cheit  The Unacknowledged History of Child Sexual Abuse in America

This presentation will describe some of the findings from Ross Cheit's recent book, The Witch-Hunt Narrative: Politics, Psychology, and the Sexual Abuse of Children about highly-contested child sexual abuse cases from the 1980s and early 1990s. Cheit found considerable evidence that contradicts the widespread claims about “hysteria” during this era. Those findings will be connected to contemporary developments in the Catholic Church and at Penn State. The presentation will conclude with some observations about silence and the power of speaking up.

7:50-8:10  Miguel Hurtado  21st Century Activism Confronts Medieval Child Endangerment Practices

Being a survivor has traditionally been a very isolating experience of being silenced by shame and guilt, afraid to tell the secret. Fortunately new communication technologies have forever changed the rules of the game. It has never been easier to connect with fellow survivors and use new powerful tools to create lasting social change. Miguel will explain how after the biggest clergy pedophile ring in Spain’s history was exposed as he created an online petition that collected 175,000 signatures and delivered it to Granada’s archbishop demanding strong measures against child sex abuse.

8:10-8:30  Julieta Añazco  Pope Involved? The State of Sexual Abuse Cases in Argentina

The situation of church sexual abuse victims is difficult in every nation but worse for those in Argentina. The rules of canon law are respected in the civil court systems. This is permitted because the government of Argentina entered into a treaty with Vatican officials, called the Concordat of 1966. Approximately 30 countries have adopted similar treaties, which require canon law, rather than civil law, to dictate under certain situations. Victims harmed by church officials are not protected by civil laws. Julieta will explain this and the involvement of Francis in Argentina before he became Pope.

8:30-8:50  Alberto Athie  Child Abuse, A World Cause

Because of reports to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on the pattern of sexual abuse of children by clerics and the cover-up by church officials we discovered our ability to influence international bodies and to expose the structural causes of these organized crimes by the Holy See. We need to unite and organize to catalog all abuse cases worldwide. This must include the bishops and cardinals who have protected predators putting in place mechanisms to ensure this pattern does not continue by involving local and international authorities.

8:50-8:55  Manuel Munro  Abused in Venezuela: Overcoming Shame

Surviving sexual violence as a child is difficult for anyone, but Manuel had additional hardships to endure coming from a broken home in Venezuela. He not only survived, but found inner strength to confront the evil and learned to thrive. He will explain how he endured and how others can, too. Truth and love are stronger than all evil. Manuel inspires all he meets. Together we are creating a safer world by uniting and empowering each other.

8:55-9:25  Tom Doyle  Different Ways to Make a Difference 

There are many ways to confront the clergy abuse problem. Some spend much of their time buried in files and books, either helping attorneys or doing deep research into the many dimensions of the complex reality of sexual violation by clergy. In this session I will discuss how consultation with attorneys and investigating bodies supports the overall mission of justice and care for victims. I will also discuss how research helps in confronting the problem now with a view to eradicating it in the future. Finally I will share some of what I learned from many hours in the courtroom.

9:25-9:30  Housekeeping Announcements

9:30-10:30  Ice Cream Social Hosted by NSAC (Edison Room ABC)


7:00am  Morning Walk, Leisurely to Brisk Pace (Meet in lobby by main entrance)

7:45  Agnostic & Freethinkers Friends of Bill W (Curie Room)

9:00-10:00  Chris Kerns, Juliet King, Lukasz Konopka, Petr Bob and Peter Isely The Brain, Stress and Trauma—Healing Arts 

The hour long presentation will introduce the audience to brain science and demonstrate how the human brain is injured by traumatic events and how the brain is effected over the long term by untreated traumatic stress. Various healing therapies will be described and linked to their positive effect on the brain. This section will focus on both neuroscience and art therapy. Finally, a discussion about the need for a detailed scientific survey to help explain the causes of delay in reporting and treatment of victims of child sex abuse by clergy.

10:00-10:30  Joye E. Frost  Office of Victims of Crime (OVC) Resources: Helping to Heal the Wounds of Abuse

Child sexual abuse is devastating for victims and their families, particularly at the hands of someone known and trusted. Advances in the response to child sexual abuse and long-term support of children and their caregivers stems from believing the victim, conducting a forensic interview, and ensuring the victim and family receive ongoing trauma-informed care. OVC resources play a critical role in furthering the response to and care of victims from the point of disclosure throughout the healing process.

10:30-10:45— Break

10:45-11:45— Breakout Session One

11:45-1:15pm— Lunch

1:15-1:35  Juan Carlos Cruz  Keeping Bishops Accountable in Latin America 

The Chilean Catholic church is an example of everything bishops and the Vatican do wrong all over the world. The latest appointment of Juan Barros as bishop of Osorno has made world headlines as the Pope knowingly appointed a man who had witnessed and covered up our abuse. Today, after a national survey, more than 80 percent of Chileans believe little or nothing of what the Catholic hierarchy has to say. Three bishops have been forced to resign by the people of Chile and dozens of priests are being brought to justice.

1:35-2:05  Madeleine Baran  Debunking a Myth: A Reporter’s Look Inside the Abuse Scandal

Reporter Madeleine Baran will talk about her groundbreaking investigation of clergy sex abuse in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Baran’s reporting for Minnesota Public Radio debunked the myth that the church had changed and also showed that key national Catholic figures had misled the public during the Boston scandal. Baran will share her experiences from inside the story and talk about the importance of challenging official narratives and holding the Catholic church and other powerful institutions accountable.

2:05-2:35  Tom Fox  NCR Facing the Abuse Crisis Alone

Tom Fox had become a polarizing figure; some Catholics, in print and elsewhere, called him ‘the son of Satan.’ National Catholic Reporter critics were convinced NCR had set out to ‘tear down the church.’ It was a frequent cry then. Fox was editor in June 1985 when they published the first expose of priest sex abuse and in the editorial urged bishops to face the scandal. No other publication, Catholic or secular, would touch the issue. Fox will discuss how difficult those days were for him as journalist and a survivor, a fact he kept hidden until earlier this month.

2:35-2:55  Barbara Blaine  SNAP into Action! You Make a Difference

The Department of Justice estimates only one in ten sex crimes are reported and yet victims who come forward constantly face public scrutiny as powerful individuals and institutions work to discredit them. So many people are not aware that predators are still in positions of power and authority, and might become motivated to act if they knew what you know. We have the ability to motivate others to act. Let’s take action together. Our influence is being felt but this is just the beginning.

2:55-3:15  Jeff Anderson  Looking Back. Moving Forward. Our Intention is Love. 

The Instrument is Justice.— Jeff will highlight a shared vision for moving forward in the survivor movement. Things have never been better, but so much needs to be done. We must act collectively with vigor to expose truth, even the deeply hidden and horrific, in order to ensure a safe future for vulnerable children and adults. Everyone can play a significant role and take credit for the successes.

3:15-3:45  Frank Fina (co-prepared by Joseph McGettiganThe Serial Pedophile in an Institutional Setting – Sandusky at Penn State 

This presentation will discuss the serial predation by Jerry Sandusky while he was a coach and thereafter. It will discuss how Sandusky presented himself, and how he maneuvered his various roles in a way that gave him continual access to his victim pool.

3:45-4:15  Anne Barrett Doyle and Terry McKiernan  Papal Report Card and Philly Preview 

Pope Francis has vowed to address clergy sex abuse and hold bishops accountable. How’s he doing? Anne and Terry will give their annual year-in-review and will assess the pope's performance. They'll shine new light on the Vatican’s global abuse plan, showing how it guts ‘zero tolerance’ and other 2002 Dallas reforms. They will also scrutinize Philadelphia and its upcoming World Meeting of Families, and the Synod on the Family in Rome.

4:15-4:30  Break

4:30-5:30  Breakout Session Two

5:30-8:00 Dinner

6:00  Friends of Bill W (Edison A)

8:00pm  Movie: The Invisible War and discussion facilitated by Lisa Kendzior


7:00am   Morning walk, Leisurely to Brisk Pace (Meet in lobby by main entrance)

9:00-9:20  Pete Saunders  Can the Institutional Church Change? 

I wouldn't have joined the Pope's Commission if I didn't believe change is possible. The church is a body of people and I've had enough messages from all over the world imploring me to 'stick with it' including some people who may surprise you. Francis may not be acting as quickly as we expect or demand but he heads up an institution that suffers not just isolated incidents of abuse. Tragically for millions of children and vulnerable adults part of its very culture enables the crimes. Can we change the culture? Time will tell. It certainly won't happen overnight.  

9:20-10:00  Ruth Krall, Cameron Altaras, Melanie Sakoda and Amy Smith Abuse In Other Denominations/Institutions 

When SNAP was founded we believed that there were a few ”bad apples” in the Catholic priesthood. Fast forward 27 years and we have learned there are predators in almost every denomination and in many institutions. Like the catholic church, many denominations/institutions have placed their reputation above the safety of the vulnerable. SNAP welcomes anyone who has been sexually violated and we are stronger because we have joined together. We will hear from four women who have done outreach in other denominations and situations.

10:00-10:30  David Grosso  Protecting Our Children's Innocence: Exploring the Childhood Protection Against Sexual Abuse Amendment Act of 2015

This presentation will cover the Childhood Protection Against Sexual Abuse Amendment Act of 2015, which Councilmember Grosso sponsored in the City Council, a history of the bill, genesis for reintroduction, what the bill does, where the bill currently stands in the legislative process, how everyone can support the bill, etc.

10:30-10:50  SNAP “I Made a Difference” Awards

Presented to: Theresa Fidelis Lancaster, Jean Wehner and Debbie Yohn

10:50-11:45  SNAP “Pioneer” Awards

Presented to: Phil Saviano and Walter Robinson for The Boston Globe Spotlight Team

11:45–12:00pm  Send Off and Conference Evaluation



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