SNAP fact sheet on innovative legal moves against Catholic wrongdoers

--A Massachusetts priest, Fr. James R. Porter, was successfully prosecuted after moving across state lines to Minnesota, using an obscure law that dated from the 1800s. (He was one of the nation's most prolific predators, with more than 100 victims, in Texas, Massachusetts, New Mexico and Minnesota.)

--A Missouri priest, Fr. Thomas Graham, was convicted because then-Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce found and took advantage of an old and obscure legislative error. State lawmakers re-codified the criminal code and mistakenly did not include a statute of limitations on "crimes against nature." The next year, legislators corrected their mistake. But for that one year, Joyce successfully argued, the omission meant that offenders could still be charged decades later. (The state Supreme Court later reversed Graham's conviction, but the victim, Lyn Woolfolk, nonetheless felt validated. And through media coverage, Catholics learned more about abuse in the St. Louis archdiocese.)

Richard Sipe -- We lost a giant

Our movement has lost a giant. 
Precious few current and former church insiders have broken ranks, crossed sides, and actively helped abuse survivors. And virtually none who have bring as much experience and wisdom to the struggle as Richard. He's done so with a huge and generous heart and at great personal cost as well.
He has been a beacon of hope and source of support to thousands of wounded victims and betrayed Catholics, through his advocacy and his compassion. Richard's brilliance - in writings, depositions and court testimony - has helped many a prosecutor and civil attorney expose clerics who commit or conceal heinous child sex crimes, and has enabled many a juror better understand the byzantine structure of the church and the secretive self-dealing of Catholic officials. Richard spend decades doing research and interviews to better understand this on-going crisis and has used his impressive knowledge to help countless others focus on the root causes of abuses and cover ups.
David G. Clohessy

We Honor Richard Sipe and Mourn His Passing

Another warrior has fallen. 

Sadly, A.W. Richard Sipe passed away on August 8th. He was a courageous soul who did battle with the ignorance, arrogance, and mindless authoritarianism of the largest institution in the world, the Roman Catholic Church. He engaged with passion and argued with facts and research. He stood alongside survivors and fought with us and for us. He was a comrade in arms, linked to all of us.

Richard Sipe

Those of us who were fortunate enough to know Richard recognized his heroism and courage, which may not be apparent to those on the outside. We shall carry our warm memories forward and keep them close. Richard was indeed a hero, and his bravery will inspire us as we continue to move forward. He will be sorely missed.

We here at SNAP honor A. W. Richard Sipe and mourn his passing.

SNAP Board of Directors

Richard spent 18 years as a Benedictine monk and priest and trained specifically to deal with the mental health problems of priests. He conducted a 25-year ethnographic study of the celibate/sexual behavior of that population. His study, published in 1990, is now considered a classic. He served as a consultant and expert witness in hundreds of civil and criminal cases involving the sexual abuse of minors by priests. Richard is known internationally for his many books and studies. 

Here, Richard and Phil Saviano discuss the church's response to allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct.

Richard has four books on SNAP's recommended reading list: Courage At Three AM, Sex, Priests and Power: Anatomy of a Crisis, Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes: The Catholic Church's 2,000-Year Paper Trail of Sexual Abuse, and Celibacy in Crisis: A Secret World Revisited

2018 SNAP Conference Chicago

2018 SNAP Conference in Chicago

The conference was a great success and we really appreciate your feedback. SNAP will strive to make next year’s conference even better using the information that you shared with us. 

This was the first year that we lived streamed the conference. We experienced some technical difficulties that we will work to correct before next year’s conference. 

SNAP Conference Committee

Watch the SNAP Conference Online!

Evangelicals: The single most important change for #MeToo

Three alleged predators go to San Diego

By David Clohessy

It’s 23 degrees in St. Louis, the coldest day of winter so far. At times like this, my mind wanders to the hundreds of proven, admitted and credibly accused predator priests who’ve quietly been sent or moved to warmer clients.


Today, I think of two who are in San Diego and one who was arrested there:


--Fr. Denis Heames of Saginaw now works for San Diego lawyer Richard McEntyre (619-221-0279). He claims, on his Linked In page, that he moved to California for "family" reasons. But Fr. Heames makes no mention of the pending lawsuit against him which says he sexually exploited a 22 year old student who worked under him. Nor does he mention the findings by officials at Central Michigan University that he sexually harassed that brave young woman,

The Altoona grand jury report in a nutshell

By David Clohessy

Most folks won’t wade through all 147 pages of the new grand jury report disclosing rampant child sex abuse and cover ups in the Altoona-Johnstown diocese. So here, in our view, is the shortest, clearest summary of the most alarming and recent wrongdoing it contains.

In short, the report shows that diocesan abuse deceit is continuing. Here’s how PennLive reported it:

A priest on his way to breaking an abuse record

By David Clohessy

It seemed like a one of those sports records that would never be broken. But given what’s just happened, Fr. Joseph Jeyapaul could surpass Fr. Norman Rogge in the annals of the clergy sex abuse crisis.

Rogge is the only priest, as best we can tell, who was put back into ministry twice, after two child sex abuse convictions.

Jeyapaul is half way to equaling this achievement. He’s just been convicted once. But last week, we learned that Vatican officials lifted Jeyapaul’s suspension and his bishop plans to reassign him soon.

This is no joke. This is really happening. In 2016. With the Vatican’s OK.

Proof, in 2 sentences, that church abuse policies are worthless

By David Clohessy


Indian Catholic Bishops Draft 'Zero Tolerance' Abuses Policy


Indian bishop lifts convicted priest's suspension

What a week! Ten outreach events in five days in nine states!

By David Clohessy

On Sunday in Georgia, we leafletted a church about pedophile priests. (Thanks Barb!)

In defense of Billy Doe

By David Clohessy

Ralph Cipriano, a blogger who once wrote for a Catholic publication, writes often about the case of Billy Doe of Philadelphia. His abusers have been criminally convicted.

Cipriano believes that experienced and unbiased professionals, including police, prosecutors, judges, jurors and civil attorneys, all got this case completely wrong and he, Cipriano, got it all right.  

Few people understand the abuse and cover up crisis better than Carolyn Disco. She is the survivor support chairman of New Hampshire Voice of the Faithful and a few years ago, was chosen as the “Catholic Layperson of the Year” award at the SNAP annual conference. She’s also one of the kindest, tireless and most fair-minded people I know.

SNAP Network is a GuideStar Silver Participant