SNAP News

Get the latest updates from SNAP Network.

SNAP Shares Letter to Archbishop Cordileone and list of 312 accused clergymen, brothers and laity with connections to the Archdiocese of San Francisco

September 29, 2022 SNAP Communication Manager- Mike McDonnell -Letter to Archbishop Cordileone and SNAP's researched list of accused- ***Click here for SNAP's letter to Archbishop Cordileone*** ***Click here to view the list of 312 clergymen, brothers, and laity accused of abuse and who have a connection to the Archdiocese of San Francisco*** SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, will be hand delivering a letter to Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, again urging him to release a list of those accused of sexual abuse in his archdiocese -- including those names still concealed in the Archdioceses' secret archives -- as most of his peers have done. At the same time, the gathered survivors and advocates will hand him their own list of 312 clergymen, brothers, and laity who have been publicly accused of abuse and who have a connection to the Archdiocese.   Archbishop Cordileone never responded to earlier suggestions from the survivors' group for him to release his own list. For example, in early 2021, SNAP wrote concerning the lack of a San Francisco list, "Archbishop Cordileone has affirmed that victims need compassion and that the San Francisco Archdiocese stands willing to help them, but he has consistently refused to take this simple step that will both help survivors and their families heal as well as keep today's children safe." SNAP did extensive research to identify the 312 perpetrators on their list through information from media reports, civil lawsuits, criminal proceedings, and the Catholic Church itself. This task could have been completed with greater ease and with more detail by Archdiocesan officials. However, while the Dallas Charter promised the faithful openness and transparency, the survivors' group maintains that it has seen little of either from the Archdiocese, which is why they embarked on this project. SNAP hopes that their list of accused will spur Archbishop Cordileone to release his own list. The group also hopes that the Archdiocesan effort will include work histories and photos of the accused, as well as details on when each and every allegation was received and what actions Church officials took in response. SNAP believes that such a list would truly be a step towards openness and transparency. But whether or not the Archbishop finally takes action, SNAP wants survivors of abuse in the Archdiocese to find comfort in their list, and perhaps even be inspired to come forward and report their own assaults directly to law enforcement. At the press conference, the survivors and advocates will also address why these lists are important to survivor healing and public safety, the closing California civil window for child sex abuse victims, the California civil window opening in 2023 for survivors of abuse as adults, as well as sharing the insights discerned through the development of their own list. In addition, SNAP will have a Catholic whistle-blower priest who was recently defrocked for supporting survivors to address those gathered. CONTACT:  Melanie Sakoda, SNAP Survivor Support Coordinator ([email protected], 925-708-6175), Joey Piscitelli, SNAP Northern California ([email protected], 925-262-3699), Dorothy Small, SNAP Sacramento ([email protected], 530-908-3676), Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager ([email protected], 267-261-0578) Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009) (SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for more than 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)                                                                                               ###

Pastor of Holy Cross Parish and School in Garrett Park, Maryland Removed Due To Allegations Of Sexual Abuse

(For Immediate Release October 4, 2022)   According to a release by church officials, a Catholic priest from the Archdiocese of Washington has been placed on leave following an accusation of sexual abuse of minors that is reported to have occurred in another diocese decades ago.   As listed on the parish website, Cardinal Wuerl named Father Robert P. Buchmeier to work at Holy Cross Parish and School, Garrett Park, Maryland in 2015. Buchmeier also worked at St. John the Evangelist Parish, Clinton; St. Bernardine of Siena Parish, Suitland; Christ the King Parish, Silver Spring; St. Mary Parish, Bryantown; and St. John the Evangelist Parish, Clinton. Other work assignments include St. Nicholas Parish, Laurel, from 1998 to 2005; St. Columba Parish, Oxon Hill, from 2005 to 2011; and Sacred Heart Parish in La Plata from 2011. Buchmeier was ordained in 1991 after studying at John XXIII seminary for delayed vocations in Weston, Massachusetts. Sadly, we are shocked at how quickly church officials point out that the allegation is from decades ago as if they are already dismissing the complaint. The average age for a survivor to come forward is 52. As time marches on, we will likely see more victims of clergy, religious and institutional abuse from the 1990s and 2000s, as they are finally ready to speak out. The standard narrative for diocesan statements often includes that the -clergy abuse crisis- is a thing of the past. We know that it is very much a thing of the present and the future, those victims who have yet to disclose their abuse, also hold the name of their abuser. We now urge those with rank in Arlington, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. dioceses and employers of Buchmeier, since his vocation was delayed, to employ every resource at their disposal to notify the community, parents, and parishioners about the claims, as well as to encourage potential victims or witnesses to come forward and make a report to police and call the Alexandria Police Department's Criminal Investigations Division at 703-746-4444. We know that informed communities are safer communities, and we hope church officials take these steps immediately.  Contact: David Lorenz, Maryland SNAP Leader ([email protected], 301-906-9161) Becky Ianni, Virginia State Leader SNAP (703-801-6044, [email protected]) Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager ([email protected], 267-261-0578) Shaun Dougherty, SNAP Board President ([email protected], 814-341-8386)  Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009) (SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for more than 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)                                                                                                      ###  

Allegations Surface Against Chicago Area Priest

(For Immediate Release October 3, 2022)   Another allegation of sexual abuse has been levied against a Chicago area priest. We call for transparency from the Archdiocese of Chicago and hope that this news will encourage other survivors of sexual violence to come forward to seek healing and justice. According to reports, a retired priest named Fr. John Clemens has been accused of sexual abuse in an incident from approximately 50 years ago. While news media covering this story have used that time frame to cast aspersions on the allegation, the reality is that this lapse in time from incident to report is well within the norm based on the scientific fact of delayed disclosure. It can take survivors decades to come forward and report abuse, and we believe this claim should be taken seriously and investigated fully. To that point, we call on Church leaders in the Archdiocese of Chicago to clarify to whom they reported the allegation. In their statement, Catholic officials say they have reported the allegation to civil authorities, and based on their track record, we believe this likely means they reported the allegation to the Department of Children and Family Services. This is a creative dodge used by the Archdiocese to claim they reported abuse, but in reality, does nothing because DCFS does not investigate historical cases of abuse. This allegation should have been reported to the local police and district attorney’s office, and we call on Cardinal Blase Cupich to be clearer with his words regarding where and when this allegation was reported. Finally, regardless of what actions the Church has taken, we know that the best way for survivors to heal and protect other children is to make their own reports to law enforcement. We hope that this story will encourage any still-suffering survivors in the Chicagoland area to talk with a trusted friend, family member, or therapist so that they can start healing and find ways to break their silence.   ​CONTACT:  Larry Antonsen, SNAP Leader Chicago ([email protected], 773-255-3382) Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager ([email protected], 267-261-0578) Shaun Dougherty, SNAP Board President ([email protected], 814-341-8386)  Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)   (SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for more than 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)                                                                                                      ###

Pope Francis appoints ten new members to the Pontifical Commission for Minors

 (For Immediate Release October 3, 2022)    Pope Francis has appointed ten new members to the Pontifical Commission for minors. The seven women and three men join the nine other members who have been reappointed, as well as one member who was appointed for a three-year term last year. However, despite these new appointments and the inclusion of the Commission in the Curia, survivors see little change in the way victims are treated by the Catholic Church. We would be more impressed if the Church opened its books and publicly identified those who prey on children and adults. Removing all perpetrators from ministry permanently and handing all information on these cases over to secular authorities would have a greater effect on the scandal, in our opinion. True reform would also include the Church doing more to assist survivors. Funding for counseling and other critical services should be made available to victims rather than paying lobbyists who advocate for keeping the courthouse doors closed to survivors.  It is critical to remember that the Catholic Church has landed at this juncture as a result of gutsy survivors speaking out, organizations mobilizing and supporting victims, great reporters communicating the truth, and investigative government agencies identifying criminal acts. Without the efforts of civil society, Church officials might have continued unabated recycling abusers and moving them to unsuspecting populations.  For more than 30 years, survivors have pounded on the Church's door, requesting help for survivors as well as the ouster of predators, as well as the individuals who defend them. It is past time for Catholic officials to understand this message.    CONTACT:  Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager ([email protected], 267-261-0578) Shaun Dougherty, SNAP Board President ([email protected], 814-341-8386)  Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009) (SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for more than 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)                                                                                                      ###

SNAP will share a list of 312 men publicly accused of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of San Francisco

(For Immediate Release September 28, 2022)    At a sidewalk press conference outside the Cathedral of St. Mary in San Francisco, SNAP will share a list of 312 men publicly accused of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese The survivors and advocates gathered will then walk the names and a letter over to the office of the Archbishop San Francisco is one of the few dioceses in the country who have yet to release their own names, and SNAP wants the Archbishop to remedy this   WHEN Thursday, September 29, 2022, 1:00 pm WHERE On the public sidewalk outside the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption, 1111 Gough Street (on the Geary Street side of the complex) WHO Five to six survivors of clergy abuse, supporters, and advocates who are affiliated with SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests WHY The Archdiocese of San Francisco is one of the few dioceses in the United States that has yet to release its own list of accused. SNAP wants Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone to remedy this and hopes that their letter to him, along with their list of 312 men who have been accused of abuse, will finally spur the Archbishop to take this important action. DETAILS SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, will be hand delivering a letter to Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, again urging him to release a list of those accused of sexual abuse in his archdiocese -- including those names still concealed in the Archdioceses' secret archives -- as most of his peers have done. At the same time, the gathered survivors and advocates will hand him their own list of 312 clergymen, brothers, and laity who have been publicly accused of abuse and who have a connection to the Archdiocese.     Archbishop Cordileone never responded to earlier suggestions from the survivors' group for him to release his own list. For example, in early 2021, SNAP wrote concerning the lack of a San Francisco list, "Archbishop Cordileone has affirmed that victims need compassion and that the San Francisco Archdiocese stands willing to help them, but he has consistently refused to take this simple step that will both help survivors and their families heal as well as keep today's children safe." SNAP did extensive research to identify the 312 perpetrators on their list through information from media reports, civil lawsuits, criminal proceedings, and the Catholic Church itself. This task could have been completed with greater ease and with more detail by Archdiocesan officials. However, while the Dallas Charter promised the faithful openness and transparency, the survivors' group maintains that it has seen little of either from the Archdiocese, which is why they embarked on this project. SNAP hopes that their list of accused will spur Archbishop Cordileone to release his own list. The group also hopes that the Archdiocesan effort will include work histories and photos of the accused, as well as details on when each and every allegation was received and what actions Church officials took in response. SNAP believes that such a list would truly be a step towards openness and transparency. But whether or not the Archbishop finally takes action, SNAP wants survivors of abuse in the Archdiocese to find comfort in their list, and perhaps even be inspired to come forward and report their own assaults directly to law enforcement. At the press conference, the survivors and advocates will also address why these lists are important to survivor healing and public safety, the closing California civil window for child sex abuse victims, the California civil window opening in 2023 for survivors of abuse as adults, as well as sharing the insights discerned through the development of their own list. In addition, SNAP will have a Catholic whistle-blower priest who was recently defrocked for supporting survivors to address those gathered. CONTACT:  Melanie Sakoda, SNAP Survivor Support Coordinator ([email protected], 925-708-6175), Joey Piscitelli, SNAP Northern California ([email protected], 925-262-3699), Dorothy Small, SNAP Sacramento ([email protected], 530-908-3676), Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager ([email protected], 267-261-0578) Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009) (SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for more than 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)                                                                                                                   ###

A public funeral for Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza rubs salt into the wounds of local victims

(For Immediate Release: Wednesday, September 28, 2022) Survivors cannot forget the Archbishop’s poor handling of sexual abuse allegations against clergy WHEN Thursday, September 29, 2022, 1:00pm WHERE On the public sidewalk outside the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, 1111 St. Joseph Parkway, Houston, Texas WHO Several members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, victims of abuse from other Texas institutions, and supporters WHY  At a sidewalk news conference in front of the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, survivors, and supporters will remind the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston that a public funeral with full honors for Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza rubs salt into the already painful wounds of those who suffered clergy sexual abuse in the Archdiocese. Archbishop Fiorenza disregarded and minimized some of the worst crimes of sexual assault committed against children when he was at the helm of the Archdiocese. DETAILS Survivors of clergy abuse in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston are appalled that Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza is being given a public funeral with full honors. The victims say that the Archbishop covered up clergy sex crimes during his tenure as leader of the Archdiocese and that this rite rubs salt into their already painful wounds.  For instance, in 1992 Archbishop Fiorenza sent Father Manuel La Rosa Lopez for “examination” following a young boy’s accusation of sexual abuse. Under the Archbishop's watch, Father Lopez was returned to ministry the following year and worked for another 26 years. The priest was finally convicted and sentenced to prison in 2020. As far as SNAP can tell, Father Lopez has yet to be defrocked. In another mishandled case, in 2003, the Archbishop wrote to a victim of Father John Keller saying the priest denied the abuse “but acknowledged he ‘crossed a proper boundary by holding you in a manner inappropriate for a priest.’" Years later, the Archdiocese turned over two complaints against the priest to law enforcement. After being allowed by Archbishop Fiorenza to continue in ministry for another 16 years, Father Keller has not been returned to ministry since the two complaints were turned over to Houston police in 2019. CONTACTEduardo Lopez de Casas, SNAP Houston and Board Member ([email protected], 832-641-6319), Mike McDonnell, Communications Manager ([email protected], 267-261-0578) Zach Hiner, Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009) (SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

Abuse of Children in Protestant mission schools in Nigeria, West Africa

(For Immediate Release August 15, 2022)  MEDIA ADVISORY – PRESS CONFERENCE – CHARLOTTE NC RE: Abuse of Children in Protestant mission schools in Nigeria, West Africa Abuse victims case is tossed out But group hopes they will appeal soon They also seek a federal DOJ investigation Lawsuit targets Charlotte-based religious organization It sends hundreds of Protestant missionaries all across the world Handout given with pictures of victims & pictures of abusers named Using chalk, victims will also write names of four predators on sidewalk WHATHolding signs & enlarged childhood photos, clergy sex abuse victims and advocates will disclose that a Charlotte judge has just tossed out a civil suit against a Charlotte-based Protestant religious group. It was brought by six adults who were sexually violated as youngsters overseas by missionaries who are from - and in some cases, still live in - the US and Canada. The victims will--hand out pictures of at least four proven, admitted and/or credibly accused child molesting missionaries,--call on the DOJ to launch a federal investigation into the missionary group (like the DOJ did last week with the Southern Baptist Convention) and And they will urge --the victim plaintiffs to appeal the new decision against them,--everyone who has seen, suspected or suffered sex crimes by US and Canadian missionaries to "come forward, get help, call law enforcement, expose child predators and deter church cover ups and contact independent and effective self-help organizations like theirs WHENMonday, Aug. 15 at 1:00 p.m. WHEREOn the sidewalk outside of the Charles R. Jonas courthouse, 401 West Trade Street in downtown Charlotte NC  WHO Three-four victims of clergy sexual abuse at the hands of clergy &/or religious officials who belong to SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) and Missionary Kids Safety Net (MKSN). Both are 30 year old Chicago-based non-profits that work to protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded. WHYThe lawsuit was reported by Sara Coello of the Charlotte Observer on 8/1/22. The primary defendant in the civil case is an interdenominational group called SIM USA.  Some of the alleged abuse happened at two Nigerian schools affiliated with SIM USA – Kent Academy in Miango and Hillcrest Academy in Jos.  Lawyers for SIM USA claim that these schools are "separate," and "independently operated," which the victims dispute. The ruling against the victims was handed down late last week by Superior Court Judge Robert Ervin. The victims are represented by attorneys Boz Tchividijian of DeLand FL (386 682 5540, [email protected]), Peter Janci of Portland OR (888 407 0224, [email protected]) and the Lanier Law Group of North Carolina. CONTACT Abuse victim Letta Cartlige 303 505 9141, Pastor Rich Darr of Missionary Kid Safety Net 815-370-4703, [email protected], David Clohessy 314 566 9790, [email protected]  

SNAP Virtual Mini Conferences

These virtual mini conferences are free to all and will feature opportunities for survivors and advocates to learn about topics like healing, advocacy, and self-care from a variety of different speakers throughout the year. Our next mini conference will be on October 8, 2022 and will feature Kathryn Robb of CHILD USAdvocacy and Mark Crawford of SNAP New Jersey.

We are especially grateful to the Ribera Law Firm of San Francisco, California for being a Gold-level Sponsor for our mini-conferences. Their support is critical to our ability to hold these free events and we are grateful to them for their support. Learn more about the Ribera Law Firm here.

 

Additionally, SNAP is very grateful for the generous support of our 2022 mini conferences that has been provided through a grant from Oak Foundation Children First Fund, a fund of Tides Foundation.

 

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

 

Donate

Your interest and support enables us to build SNAP's healing model as we deliver the programs and services that advance SNAPs Mission.

Choose Amount:

As Featured In

SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant