The Charleston Gazette: David Clohessy: A test of justice for W.Va. child sex abuse victims

Justice comes rarely for victims of childhood sexual assault. When it does, it’s only after a painful legal process. This week in Charleston, an appeals court could make that already difficult process even harder for West Virginia victims who use civil courts to warn the public about predators.

Our group, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, has monitored cases involving child molesters in many denominations for more than 25 years. We’ve never seen one quite like this one from Martinsburg. - See more at:

It’s almost official: Paterno WILL be honored at Penn State

Last month, a Penn State official pledged that "Penn State will honor not only Joe Paterno's legacy but the Paterno family's legacy."

Wow! I kinda thought universities were about promoting open minds?

“Need to hear encouraging news? Here’s some.”

On the surface, the words “rape” and “hope” are similar. They rarely belong in the same sentence. But here’s an exception: Recent changes in rape laws give us hope.

Thanks to the courage of victims of sexual violence, who are gaining more strength and getting more political, 28 states now have no statute of limitations on rape.   

Anniversaries for Finn & Law

Anniversaries for Finn & Law

What a weekend it was! No one apparently noticed that over Memorial Day, it was Robert Finn ten year anniversary of taking over the Kansas City diocese AND the 30 year anniversary of Bernard Law being named a cardinal.

With the possible exception of Cardinal Edward Egan, Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop John Nienstedt, Archbishop John Myers, could there be two more disgraced US Catholic prelates than Finn and Law, the first US bishop who was convicted in the abuse crisis and the first US bishop who resigned in the abuse crisis?

Finn should NOT ordain anyone

by SNAP outreach director Barbara Dorris

We applaud the few Kansas City priests who are speaking up against the plan by three top Catholic officials – including Pope Francis’ US representative – to let Bishop Robert Finn preside over two ordinations next month.

We beg more Kansas City priests – and parishioners – to join this effort.

We beg the church hierarchy to listen to their cries.

We beg the soon-to-be-ordained deacons to speak up and oppose this too.

Bishop Finn’s resignation and the pomegranate seed

By Peter Isely
SNAP Midwest Director

Mindful of Aristotle's caution that one swallow does not a summer make, there is still good reason to celebrate today that after several intense years of activism, advocacy and grass roots organizing from survivors, advocates, priests, Catholic parishioners and others, the Vatican has finally, formally and unceremoniously removed Bishop Robert Finn, who was convicted of child endangerment, from the beleaguered diocese of Kansas City (read the comprehensive review of events by NCR).

Do words matter or not? (And KC bishop clarifications)

Catholic officials often apologize for abuse, saying “we’ll do better.”

And victims then often criticize them, saying “Words don’t protect kids. Action protects kids.”

Church defenders rebut this by saying “Words DO matter.  Words are important.”

Except, apparently, right now. Some church defenders claim that what Pope Francis does or doesn’t say about Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn doesn’t really matter.

What does a nine-to-one ratio tell you?

For the ninth time, Pope Francis sat down this morning with a group he's charged with improving Vatican governance.

Once, Francis has sat down with the group he's charged with dealing with clergy sex abuse and cover ups.   

Missionary Kids hold meeting in Atlanta

Next weekend (Apr 17-19) MKSafetyNet is holding our second international conference for missionary kid survivors in Atlanta, GA. 

It’s an amazing group of people: men and women who were taken abroad as children when their devout parents became missionaries in developing nations. They lived away from their moms and dads and were often treated brutally and abused repeatedly by “dorm parents.”    

An NYC teacher says “There has to be misery for kids???”

I’m wary of seeming to wade into the charter school debate. But part of our mission in SNAP is to “protect the vulnerable” and we have long helped those hurt in any institutional setting – not just churches but schools, camps and athletic leagues too.

And few hold a higher opinion of teachers than I do. So I’m reluctant to criticize them.

SNAP Network is a GuideStar Silver Participant