Fr. Gary Hayes has gone home to the Lord. I wish to express to his family sincere condolences on his passing. While suffering with Cancer is extraordinarily painful, debilitating and frustrating, it brought Gary home to you because family is where we look for comfort. Your brother once said, “What is most meaningful often comes from your worst suffering”. In his last suffering with cancer he found the most meaningful relationships, you his family. He confided in me just a few weeks ago how incredibly happy he was to have rebuilt and strengthened his ties with each of you and how important those bonds were to his heart and to his healing. He was eternally grateful for your love and incredible care.
Our movement is filled with brave, eloquent survivors who have uttered lines at news conferences that fill me with pride and amazement. One of them is Fr. Gary Hayes. Or I should say “was.” Gary has passed away.
A new study has been released today from the Center for Justice and Democracy at New York Law School and the findings are important for survivors of sexual abuse and their advocates.
Our partners at CHILD USA are strong advocates, great partners, and dedicated professionals who are working to change the statutes of limitations for cases of child sexual abuse around the country. They have just announced an exciting new venture and we are excited to share their news with you! See below for the full release from CHILD USA:
We are taking the fight to Rome and are standing up for all survivors on a world stage! From February 19-25, Board President Tim Lennon and Seattle SNAP Leader Mary Dispenza will be traveling to Rome for Pope Francis' Papal Abuse Summit. But these two brave leaders can't do it on their own, we need your help to make this trip effective.
If Pope Francis is to make a real impact on clergy abuse, he will need to have heard from survivors first-hand about what they experienced. In order to help him understand, Dottie Klammer and Frank from Virginia had this great idea: the Pope Blast Project. From February 21-24, the Pope is holding a major summit on abuse, and before that summit begins we are going to make sure he hears from survivors around the world by filling his mailbox with survivor stories. To read more about this idea and why it is important, read the letter from Frank below.
Have you been hurt by a priest or the Roman Catholic Church’s teachings? We’d like you to share your story.
Mary Sue Barnett and Debra Meyers are working on a collection of personal stories coupled with scholarly articles for publication in a book titled The Implosion of the Roman Catholic Church and the Reformation of True Spirituality.
The Diocese of Winona-Rochester in Minnesota has announced that they will be filing for bankruptcy and opening a claims process for anyone who was abused by a priest, nun, or any other church-affiliated individual within their diocesan borders.
At SNAP, we believe that transparency is a critical element to ending the clergy sex abuse crisis, restoring public faith in religious institutions, and helping survivors heal. We are grateful when church officials take steps towards transparency, and even moreso when that transparency is forced by brave whistle-blowers. Today, we were lucky to have experienced the latter.
A recently founded organization aims to force the Catholic Church to truly reckon with the clergy abuse crisis during this Advent season, and we like their creative approach.