LA- US bishops hear controversial speaker in New Orleans

For immediate release: Thursday, June 12, 2014

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-503-0003, [email protected])

We're saddened but not surprised that America's bishops have invited a man to speak to them who minimizes and mischaracterizes abuse.

He's W. Bradford Wilcox, co-author of a controversial recent Washington Post op ed about violence against women.

Bishops do this often - consult with questionable male "experts," men like Paul McHugh who said “I believe that the belligerent frenzy characteristic of media reports on priestly sexual abuse has done much damage and needs to stop."

(Bishops put McHugh on their first National Review Board overseeing the crisis.)

Bishops send predator priests to therapists like Father Benedict Groeschel, who said in 2012: “In many cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 is the seducer.”

Or Bishops pick therapists like Richard Fitzgibbons who has criticized the “zero-tolerance” policy and argues that many accusations are false. 

(Fitzgibbons also diagnosed notorious serial predator Shawn Ratigan as "lonely.")

Bishops rarely "monitor" predator priests. But when they do, they pick "monitors" like the St. Louis nun who said "I would trust them all. I would." 

Here's the bottom line: In the clergy sex abuse crisis, like other arenas, bishops can afford to hire the “best and the brightest” experts. But they don't. They deliberately hire “friendly,” biased professionals who can be counted on to tell bishops what they want to hear and to help maintain the secrecy bishops want with clergy sex crimes and cover ups. 

Instead, bishops use their vast resources to hire the “best and brightest” lawyers and public relations people to defend themselves and their reputations. 

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 18,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-474, [email protected])


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  • Wayne Green
    commented 2014-06-12 22:08:13 -0500
    Wilcox was also instrumental in commissioning, designing, funding, peer reviewing, and promoting the now discredited “study” by Mark Regnerus that claimed gay parents were somehow defective and caused sub-optimal outcomes for their children. McHugh was once a respected psychiatrist in the 60s but has gone off the rails over the last few decades. He is a member of NARTH and believes homosexuality is a mental disorder that can be “cured” Fitzgibbons is also a member of NARTH and promotes the same homophobic theories about the development of sexuality. Both are considered cranks by mainstream academics and professionals.
  • Jonathan Hinck
    commented 2014-06-12 13:16:05 -0500
    Further proof that the leaders of the Church cling to medieval notions of reality, even when they’ve been debunked. I was at one of these Catholic conferences a number of years ago in Minneapolis. All of the Catholic bishops huddled together, talking only amongst themselves while not making eye contact with anyone else.
  • @ tweeted this page. 2014-06-12 10:19:27 -0500

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