SNAP News

Get the latest updates from SNAP Network.

Vatican admits sexual abuse undermines the Church’s credibility

An official document for the Synod in October of this year explicitly accepts a loss of credibility due to the clergy sexual abuse crisis. Although credibility has been at stake since the sexual abuse crisis exploded, this is the first time a Vatican document officially admits its pervasive effects. In Spain, the Catholic bishops announced a plan to offer reparations to victims of clergy sexual abuse, but it is not clear how they will do so. By Rodolfo Soriano-Núñez This week the issue of clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic Church became a priority at the global scale and even more in Spain.

Criminal charges against Fr. Leo Riley dismissed; SNAP Responds

For immediate release: July 15, 2024 The criminal case against an ex-Dubuque priest accused of multiple counts of child sexual abuse was dismissed today. There was no ruling on the accusations, just a decision that the case was beyond the criminal statute of limitations. SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is disappointed that once again an accused clergyman was able to avoid facing his accusers in court.  Although Fr. Leo P. Riley had denied the charges and pleaded not guilty, we know that false accusations of child sexual abuse are rare, multiple false accusations are even rarer. We believe and stand with the brave survivors who came forward to accuse this cleric. Despite Fr. Riley’s attorney's claiming that there was “no evidence” that the clergyman committed these crimes, the truth is that the testimony of these courageous victims would have been evidence.  Many secular reports and individual investigations across the globe have shown that the Catholic Church protected perpetrators over children. Far too many stories highlight how this religious institution knew of child sexual abuse by clergymen, but did not report the crimes to law enforcement or remove the offenders from ministry. Effectively, this allowed accused abusers to continue to work for years. Instead, Church officials moved accused offenders to other parishes, dioceses, and states, or even out of the country.

Pennsylvania survivors of CSA vow to keep fighting for SOL reform; urge concerned citizens to join them

For immediate release: July 15, 2024 In 2018, then Pennsylvania State Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced the results of a grand jury investigation into sexual abuse within six diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in the state. This report, revealing widespread assaults on children by clergy and cover-ups by Church officials, shocked the world. It also forced bishops from coast to coast into greater transparency, and inspired Attorney General’s across the country to open their own statewide investigations. The Grand Jury revelations of continuing, systemic cover-up in Pennsylvania, has since been duplicated in other states. The report included a list of recommendations, among them, and perhaps most important, opening a "civil window,” which would give child sexual abuse victims a second chance to file lawsuits for damages against their perpetrators and those who enabled them. This “look back” legislation for now-adult victims of childhood sexual abuse, who are locked out of the courts by archaic, predator-friendly statutes of limitations, is central both to protecting children and to delivering justice. Similar windows in other states have not only brought many more survivors forward, but, more importantly, revealed “hidden perpetrators” who remain a threat to today’s youth.Representative Mark Rozzi (D) and Representative Jim Gregory (R), both survivors of childhood sexual abuse, sponsored and passed the recommended window legislation. This took an almost three year, bi-partisan effort. In 2020, just when we believed we would see this initiative on the general election ballot, we were informed that because of an administrative error by the office of the Pennsylvania Secretary of State, this was an impossibility. Making matters worse, we also learned that the entire multi-year process would have to begin again from scratch. 

Vatican Decision On Allegations Against Cardinal John Dew “A Whitewash.” Abuse Survivors Publish Letter Of Complaint

For immediate release, New Zealand, 8 July 2024 The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests in Aotearoa New Zealand, known as SNAP, has made public its letter to the Vatican about a presumed investigation into child sexual assault allegations against Cardinal John Dew, former Archbishop of Wellington.SNAP wrote to the Prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith’s Disciplinary Sector, Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, responsible for dealing with sexual abuse complaints against clergy.  A copy of the letter was published on the SNAP Oceania website.The letter expressed concerns that the Dicastery interviewed only the alleged offender and that another coverup has occurred, this time between the New Zealand Catholic hierarchy, the Vatican, and a Catholic Religious Order known as the Sisters of Mercy. “To say that your current outcome is a whitewash is an understatement,” SNAP wrote to Fernández. “Protecting the hierarchy at the expense of the people makes it plain that the bona fides of the Dicastery are skewed in favour the hierarchy,” the survivors said. The letter also urged the Dicastery to reopen this matter. “We urge the Dicastery to publish its report on John Dew. Justice must not only be done, but it must also be seen to be done,” the letter stressed.

SNAP Media Event Thursday, June 27 at 1:00 p.m. in Sedalia

Victims want to meet with statewide school group They ask Pettis Co. sheriff to consider investigating facility Self-help group warns parents about boarding schools for 'troubled' kids WHAT Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will harshly criticize a local man who runs both a --a boarding school for 'troubled' kids in Pettis County and --a statewide industry group for owners and operators of similar facilities, at least five of which have generated headlines in recent years because of repeated prosecutions, lawsuits and news reports about the sexual, physical and emotional abuse of children at the schools. A few months ago, the local man also spearheaded an effort to eviscerate "the few and new bare bones protections" Missouri legislators set up for these facilities, many of which are for-profit, privately-owned and 'under the radar' in rural counties across the state. The victims will also ask --the Pettis County sheriff to consider investigating the nearby facility, particularly if the sheriff is aware of any complaints, --the school owners' group to meet with them, and --prod anyone who has 'seen, suspected or suffered' crimes in any Christian or private boarding school in Missouri to 'come forward as soon as possible to trusted sources of help, like friends, family, therapists, police, prosecutors or support groups.' WHEN Thursday, June 27 at 1:00 p.m. WHERE On the sidewalk outside the Pettis County Sheriff’s office, 319 S. Lamine Ave. in Sedalia, MO WHO Two-three people including --a Sedalia woman whose sibling was molested by a clergyman and --a Missouri man who was sexually abused as a child by a cleric and who for 30 years headed a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

SNAP abuse lawsuit & presser, tomorrow, Wed, 6/26 @ 1:15 in KC MO

Shocking child abuse lawsuit filed vs. shuttered facility It’s 1 of 5 recently troubled MO 'Christian' boarding schools SNAP to AG: 'Where there’s smoke, there’s fire! Do SOMETHING!' Victims also blast AG Bailey for 'ducking & dodging' on their requests They again ask for 'a new, voluntary, unannounced inspection system' Using chalk, they’ll write criminally charged abusers’ names on sidewalk WHAT Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, abuse survivors will: --announce the filing of a shocking new child abuse and cover up lawsuit against a now-shuttered southwest Missouri 'Christian' boarding school where several ex-staffers have recently been arrested and face criminal charges, and They will also try to hand deliver a letter to Missouri’s attorney general  urging him to ask school owners to allow voluntary but unannounced inspections of their facilities by independent children’s groups and law enforcement personnel (including the Highway Patrol), and blasting him for 'repeatedly ignoring' requests they’ve made of him that they believe will 'help protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded.' Afterwards, using chalk, they will write the names of at least ten ex-staffers from Christian boarding schools across Missouri who have been arrested or convicted in recent years (four of whom were charged just this year).  WHEN Wednesday, June 26 at 1:15 p.m.  WHERE In Kansas City MO, on the sidewalk outside the Missouri attorney general’s office, 615 E. 13th Street, (between Cherry and Holmes) (816-889-5000)  WHO Three-four child sex abuse victims including a Missouri man who for 30 years headed a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org) 

NEWS CONF MON 6/17- Clergy sex abuse victims blast SD bishop

Clergy sex abuse victims blast SD bishop They call his new legal move “frightening” SNAP: “It’s just one more way of hiding predators” Diocese seeks Chapter 11 protection & end to lawsuits WHAT Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will --harshly criticize San Diego’s bishop for using bankruptcy court to “keep clergy sex abuse secrets secret and prevent abuse survivors from having their day in court,” and --beg him to give victims a longer time to come forward, and not push for a tight deadline which re-victimizes many. They will also call on --Catholics to pressure top Catholic officials to “stop playing legal hardball” and fighting victims, --other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to step forward and report known and suspected clergy sex crimes and cover ups “so that kids receive protection and victims receive justice and healing,” and --police, prosecutors and other officials to work “harder and smarter.”   WHEN Monday, June 17 at 11:00 am WHERE On the sidewalk outside the US Federal Courthouse on F Street (between State and Union on north side) in downtown San Diego WHO Three-four survivors of sexual assault by Catholic clerics, including a San Diego man who is the local leader for SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, and a LA-area woman who is a widely-known survivor, advocate and public speaker

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 Today

Your donation today ensures SNAP will be there for those who need us tomorrow.

Choose Amount:

As Featured In

SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant