Legion of Christ official apologizes; SNAP responds

For immediate release: Thursday, Feb. 6 2014

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, [email protected])

A Legion of Christ official apologized to victims today.


Apologies are easy but reform is hard. And actions, not words, protect kids. So we urge Catholics to ignore the latest words from this disgraced, secretive, scandal-ridden order and insist on tangible steps that will safeguard children. 

Who in the Legion – past or present – hid Fr. Marcial Maciel's crimes? Who in the Legion – past or present – are hiding other clergy sex crimes? Who in the Legion – past and present – engages or engaged in financial fraud? 

And what punishment is being meted out to these Catholic officials. 

When we know these answers and see these steps, we'll begin to believe the Legion may be headed in the right direction. To assume that now, however, is foolish. Worse, it's a disservice to vulnerable kids around Legion clerics now and an insult to wounded adults suffering because of Legion clerics.

Notice what Legion officials apparently did not say today:

– “If you were hurt by one of our clerics, call the police.”

– “We're now lobbying for better secular laws that protect kids.”

– “We're now posting all our predator priests on our website” or even

– “We're not releasing their names, but here's how many Legion priests have molested kids.”

Not a single fact or tidbit of useful information. Just more words.

And denouncing a widely-documented molester, womanizer, thief and fraud is no act of courage.

Yesterday in Geneva, an Ethiopian man on a United Nations panel essentially told Catholic officials that his committee is not in the business of declaring 'well said' but rather in the business of declaring 'well done.'

That's what most Catholic officials refuse to accept – that mere words – whether promises, excuses or apologies – mean absolutely nothing to vulnerable kids and virtually nothing to suffering adults, especially when church officials' words contradict church officials' actions. 

Trust is won back through deeds, not pledges. No one should trust Legion officials until there are clear signs of real change. And we see absolutely no such signs now. 

(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 15,000 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 SNAPnetwork.org) 

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorr[email protected])


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  • Glo Ramsay
    commented 2014-02-07 01:50:18 -0600
    Brilliant post! Well said!
  • Lani Halter
    commented 2014-02-06 15:51:42 -0600
    I agree, with Carolyn Disco, Mrs. Dorris. You have in fact, very clearly and succinctly innumerated what is required in order to believe any sort of apology from this group. I have two suggestions however. One, that you encourage anyone who is not familiar with the Legion and Fr. Marcial Maciel’s crimes, (such as myself) to read the Rueters article that reports the so-called apology to which you are actually responding. Although I know you have included the link to the article expressly for that purpose, I’m not sure “nubies” to this sight will begin to comprehend the benefit they will have by reading reports of such apologies. And, secondly, I’d like to humbly suggest that you remind ALL of your readers and supporters of SNAP, that writing well written responses has not been enough to reach this cataclysmic point in the history of this battle with the catholic church. In fact, it has also been very many, very many real ACTIONS on the part of SNAP members, yourself included, as well! e.g. holding news conferences, organizing SNAP groups, doing the website, joining forces with the CCR (I hope I have those initials correct), and addressing the ICC; physically attending and participating in the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child hearing last month in Geneva. I sorely wish, that for all of us, it were just a matter of writing responses and that doing that would be enough to generate and cause the enourmous “sea change” that is needed to combat the catholic church’s vast global empire that it has literally developed and established of catholic predator priest communities (otherwise known as catholic “parishes, seminaries, schools, and the vatican city-state” itself. Take heart, that you of course, Mrs. Dorris, already KNOW that ALL of these things are and have been required to get this far and to be this close to “winning” JUSTICE for VICTIMS and REAL CHANGE to reach ABOLISHMENT by the catholic church OF any catholics ENABLING AND ENCOURAGING PEDOPHILES, THE SEX SLAVE TRADE, AND THE GLOBAL INTERNET PRODUCTION AND EXCHANGE OF PEDOPHILE PORNOGRAPHY by ANY catholic priest, and ANY catholic church employee.
  • Carolyn Disco
    commented 2014-02-06 14:00:56 -0600
    Very, very well said. Is the Legion still fighting settlements with Maciel’s children and other victims? Did the Legion leadership just send out a press release or did it communicate personally with victims AND deliver checks of meaningful amounts to redress the jobs lost and broken lives they damaged? The Legions’s vilification of those brave survivors who came forward is not absolved in a press release. What ACTIONS have the Legion taken to bring justice?
  • Gerald Van Slyke
    commented 2014-02-06 13:05:15 -0600
    DIGGING UP BONES, a novel on Amazon.com digg up the ugliness of evil that was-is-and will likely continue until the powers that, aka, all religions, come forth from their past, admit wrong doings, and and help those who suffer, have suffered, and the families of those who have suffered and died, because of the abuse, both physical and emotional, that was put upon OUR innocent children by clergy. Until that happens words are meaningless.
    Augustus G Van Slyke
  • @ tweeted this page. 2014-02-06 11:24:23 -0600

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