Media Statements

We are SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. We are the largest, oldest and most active support group for women and men wounded by religious authority figures (priests, ministers, bishops, deacons, nuns and others).

SNAP commends the parishioner who exposed an abusive Catholic priest 25 ago for sharing his story publicly, calls on the Diocese of Springfield to be fully transparent

Earlier today a former parishioner of St. Charles Borromeo Church in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, came forward publicly to reveal that in 1977 he confronted the Rev. Daniel L. Gill, the assistant pastor at the parish, about a 14-year-old girl's report of sexual molestation by the priest. Russell G. Powell also said that he informed Fr. Gill's superior of the accusation and of the priest's admission of guilt. Fr. Gill subsequently disappeared from the parish, Russell said, and later was transferred to another Catholic church in Brimfield.


Catholic Diocese of Fresno acknowledges abuse can happen at the hands of a layperson of trust; SNAP wants more information

The text accompanying the "Safe and Sacred Safe Environment Training" video put out by the Catholic Diocese of Fresno reads, “Report sexual abuse of a minor by a priest, deacon, church/school volunteer or church/school employee by calling the Victim Assistance Hotline Number – 559-488-7400. Reports are held in strictest confidence.

Since the Fresno Diocese explicitly acknowledges that Church volunteers and lay employees can abuse, we wonder why its list of the "credibly accused" only includes religious brothers? Were there no reports of abuse by nuns, teachers, and other lay employees or volunteers? We would find that hard to believe since every Catholic diocese that has been investigated by secular authorities has uncovered abusers in those categories. We hope that Bishop Joseph Brennan will clarify this. The list should either be expanded or the Bishop should state unequivocally to the public he has no reports that a nun, Catholic school teacher, lay employee, or volunteer has ever been accused of abusing a child in Fresno. 

 


Three years since the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report on Six Catholic Dioceses, SNAP Board President pens his thoughts.

We are approaching the three-year anniversary of the Pennsylvania Attorney General Grand Jury report, a scathing document that demonstrated systemic issues with childhood sexual abuse and a decades-long campaign to cover up child sex crimes in every Roman Catholic Diocese within the Commonwealth. Let us take a moment to examine the best of what has come from the release of this report and then focus on where we have fallen short of protecting future generations of Pennsylvania children from sexual assault. 


Cleric who Taught in New Jersey and Ireland is Sued for Abuse in New York

A cleric who helped run a New Jersey Catholic school is being sued for the first time for alleged child sexual abuse.


Missing in Action: Where are the Nuns?

Guest blog by Mary Dispenza

Recent news articles about the burial of hundreds of indigenous children neglect to mention a major player in this story: nuns. Why are they missing from this unsettling story? Nuns were also abusers, or accomplices as puppets at the hands of Bishops and priests in carrying out devastating acts.


Former Catholic priest Craig Harrison appears on Fresno's list of "credibly accused" clergy, SNAP calls for release of records

The former Monsignor Craig Harrison's name appears on the list of "credibly accused" clerics recently released by the Diocese of Fresno. Harrison has vigorously denied the allegations against him, even filing lawsuits for defamation against some of his accusers. We call on Catholic officials in Fresno to release the findings that landed the former Monsignor on their list. We believe this information is critical to help survivors and the communities where Harrison worked to heal.

Despite Harrison’s name appearing on the Diocesan list, criminal charges were never filed against him because of the statute of limitations. However, we find it notable that the Fresno County District Attorney's Office also deemed the accusations against the former Monsignor "credible." We know from studies that false allegations of child sexual abuse are rare, and multiple false allegations are even rarer.


SNAP Applauds Release of Diocese of Fresno CA List of Accused Clerics, But Believes Important Information Is Missing


Greenville Catholic priest placed on administrative leave amid allegations of using his position to have sex with a parishioner; SNAP supports the victim

Fr. Wilbroad Mwape, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua in West Greenville and formerly of Holy Trinity in Orangeburg, has been accused of sexually abusing an adult parishioner in a lawsuit filed this week. The Catholic priest was placed on administrative leave by the Diocese of Charleston in the wake of the allegations. The complaint accused Fr. Mwape of grooming an adult female parishioner at Holy Trinity and continuing his pursuit when he assumed his duties at St. Anthony of Padua.

Our hearts go out to the survivor who has bravely come forward in this case. She sought counsel and wished to enrich her faith through Fr. Mwape and instead fell prey to the solicitation of sex by a trusted faith leader. We are concerned that there may be other victims and encourage them to report to law enforcement.


Former Cardinal McCarrick and an Opus Dei priest accused of child sexual abuse in a NY lawsuit; SNAP Reacts


Rector of the landmark Cathedral in New York named in a new civil lawsuit alleging the abuse of a minor; SNAP responds.


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