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 is appalled at 'Nameless List' by the Diocese of Worcester

(For Immediate Release February 7, 2023)

The Diocese of Worcester announced this past Friday that it had found 173 accusations of child sexual abuse "credible," after reviewing 209 abuse reports from 1950, when the Diocese was founded, and 2022. The report does not include information about clergy who abused within the territory of the Diocese before 1950, thus automatically providing an incomplete count of the number of perpetrators who worked in the schools and parishes now under the control of Bishop Robert McManus.  Moreover, unlike similar reports released by other dioceses, the names of the clergy who were found to have committed these crimes were not included. SNAP is appalled at this blatant lack of concern for survivors, the faithful, and the public which is shown by this omission.

The lists released by other dioceses and religious orders, particularly those that are easy to find and access, provide a simple method for people to check to see if a cleric has been accused, and if the accusation has been deemed "credible" by the diocese. Contrary to Bishop McManus' suggestion, it would be next to impossible for most victims to know where to look for this information on his website. The simple act of "official" validation a list provides can be extremely healing for victims. It may also give answers to family members who lost someone to suicide or drug addiction. In addition, a list provides the means to check for missing names. Survivors or the relatives of victims will easily know if they need to make a report to the Diocese, thereby increasing information about the true extent of abuse. Finally, if a cleric is too dangerous to work in a parish or school, then he is also too dangerous to have living among unsuspecting neighbors. Lists provide a warning for the general public as well.





Diocese of Fargo priest arrested on suspicion of committing sexual exploitation

(For Immediate Release February 3, 2023)

A North Dakota priest, removed from ministry last month pending an investigation of "inappropriate conduct," was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of committing "sexual exploitation by therapist." We applaud the brave victims for speaking up and contacting the police about this young priest. Contrary to what Catholic bishops say, clergy sexual abuse is NOT a thing of the past. This is the third arrest that we know of in 2023. Moreover, these arrests are likely a drop in the bucket, because only between 2 and 10 out of 100 victims of clerical abuse report within a year of being molested, and one-third never, ever report.

Fr. Neil Joseph Pfeifer, 48, was arrested in Rugby, North Dakota, and taken to the Pierce County Correctional Facility, where he awaits formal charges. Bishop John Folda of the Diocese of Fargo said in a statement, “Father Pfeifer remains out of ministry as pastor of the Basilica of St. James in Jamestown, St. Margaret Mary in Buchanan, and St. Mathias in Windsor, pending the outcome of the criminal investigation."

Bishop John Folda also noted in his statement that "The Diocese of Fargo is cooperating fully with the investigation." We find it unsettling that Catholic officials always emphasize how cooperative they are when a victim comes forward. We suspect this is an outright attempt to disassociate themselves from the horror of sex-related crimes, and to make it appear to parishioners and the general public that they were totally clueless.

Instead of routinely practicing this “damage control,” Church leaders should be reminding people that crimes involving sex are still prevalent among ordained clergy and professed religious. In fact, perpetrators become more shrewd, cunning, and effective over time, because they learn how to better pick victims who cannot tell or will not be believed.

We are grateful that the investigation has been moved into the secular realm. Independent professionals in law enforcement should investigate crimes, not the biased and often corrupt amateurs in Church offices. Beyond "cooperating" with the criminal investigation, the Bishop of Fargo should make it a point to visit every place where Fr. Pfeifer worked and urge those who may have experienced, witnessed, or suspected abuse to contact the police immediately. We hope the victims' courage will prod others with information about Fr. Pfeifer to step forward, get help, call police, protect others, and start healing.


CONTACT: Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager ([email protected] 267-261-0578) 

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is

"Prolific, notorious" St. Louis predator priest passes

(For Immediate Release January 31, 2023) 

A former St. Louis priest who admitted he violated dozens of boys and was serving a life sentence in prison for child sex crimes has passed away.
From 1981 to 1983, Fr. Romano Ferraro was at St. Joan of Arc parish in south St. Louis city. A man he molested as a child there committed suicide in 2006 after a long struggle with depression.
Fr. Ferraro also worked at Jewish Hospital, Barnes Hospital, and lived in Webster Groves at a now-shuttered church facility called The House of Affirmation (4 Joy Avenue).

Quebec Cardinal Ouellet set to retire amid sexual abuse allegations

(For Immediate Release January 30, 2023) 

The Vatican announced on Monday that Quebec Cardinal Marc Ouellet, who oversees the influential bishops' office, will retire on April 12.

The announcement that Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Quebec Cardinal Marc Ouellet, comes two weeks after allegations of sexual misconduct against Ouellet by a second woman in the Quebec Archdiocese were made public.

In August 2022, Pope Francis passed up a perfect chance to demonstrate that even those closest to him, such as Cardinal Ouellet, are not immune to investigation.  We simply do not understand why the uninvited actions by a high-ranking Catholic official that is the subject of a current lawsuit can be so easily -- and quickly -- dismissed by the Church. Victims who fight hard to bring forth the wrong done to them do not have the luxury of retirement, their fight continues. It shows the superficiality of the Church's promises to handle such accusations competently.

Pope Francis shouldn't wash his hands of Ouellet upon this announcement. We believe that it is no longer acceptable to continue to ignore church officials' involvement in sex crimes, the news of it flows steadily. Additionally, it makes adults' suffering worse and encourages complicity from other church officials. We urge Pope Francis to take all possible measures to bar Ouellet from using any sort of public forum or position. We also urge Ouellet to refrain from applying for such positions or platforms.


CONTACT: Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager, (267-261-0578, [email protected]) Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (517-974-9009, [email protected]) Shaun Dougherty, SNAP Board President (814-341-8386, [email protected])

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is


San Antonio Priest Quietly Removed After Sexual Misconduct Investigation

Fr. Duncan Amek, a Catholic priest from the Archdiocese of San Antonio has been removed from active ministry following an investigation of sexual misconduct involving women and financial impropriety.

On May 15, 2019, in St. Ann's Church, where he had been a deacon for the previous year, Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, MSpS, ordained Duncan Amek, a native of Homa Bay, Kenya, to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of San Antonio. Amek then went to work for St. Matthew Church and School in San Antonio, Texas.

We are worried for the unsuspecting adult women involved who may have fallen for Amek’s predilection and scheme. More importantly, our concern is this. Was Amek’s actions criminal? If so, we hope church officials turn over all the information they have obtained in their investigation to law enforcement. We would also like to know what constitutes sexual misconduct in the eyes of church officials.

SNAP raises concern over former high ranking priest employee, now current parish pastor



(For Immediate Release June 27, 2022) 

SNAP raises concern over former high-ranking priest employee, now current parish pastor

This past week, NBC Bay Area News (Part 1 and Part 2)  revealed that at least four prominent Catholic priests in the San Francisco Bay Area were accused of child sexual abuse in lawsuits filed under California's look-back window. Yet contrary to the promises of the 2002 Dallas Charter, all four are still working. 

While all four clerics are a serious concern to us, it appears that Msgr. James Pulskamp of the Diocese of Santa Rosa -- accused in a current suit of sexually abusing a child at the Hanna Boys Center -- was in the best position to also cover up accusations of abuse, including perhaps any against him. As we have come to expect, Catholic officials attempt to minimize the gravity of the allegations by saying, "we've never received a complaint about Rev. Pulskamp.” Yet it seems to us that this lawsuit is a complaint and it has now been received.

The monsignor is still working today as a pastor. Bishop Robert Vasa's apparent excuse for this failure to protect today's children is that the Msgr. Pulskamp was "cleared" by "internal review board" investigations.

As advocates for survivors, we know that false allegations are incredibly rare. With the civil window still open, "internal review" seems premature. More lawsuits will no doubt be filed before the window closes on December 31, 2022. Moreover, we also know that internal review boards have "cleared" other accused clergymen only to have additional information lead to the opposite result down the road. One California example is the case of Fr. Eric Swearingen. The priest was placed on leave briefly after he was accused of child sexual abuse in a 2006 lawsuit. However, the Diocese of Fresno subsequently deemed the allegation "not credible" and Fr. Swearingen was allowed to return to ministry. In 2019, Fr. Swearingen was again placed on leave, reportedly based on information that was uncovered during the course of that lawsuit. Ultimately Fr. Swearingen was added to Fresno"s list of accused priests.



Letter to Kansas Attorney General 'Victims back reform bill & seek predators' names'

(For Immediate Release January 20, 2023) 

Dear Attorney General Kobach:

Two weeks ago, after four years of investigation, your predecessor released a dreadfully disappointing 21 page report on Catholic officials who committed or concealed horrific child sex crimes. But he refused to name a single wrongdoer.

The Nebraska AG issued a similar report, 182 pages, naming 57 credibly accused abusive Catholic clerics.

The Missouri AG released a similar report, 329 pages, naming 173 credibly accused abusive Catholic clerics.

The Pennsylvania AG issued a similar report, 884 pages, naming 301 credibly accused abusive Catholic clerics.

The Colorado AG released a similar report, 241 pages, naming 41 credibly accused abusive Catholic clerics.

The Michigan AG released a similar report, 149 pages, naming 44 credibly accused abusive Catholic clerics in just one small diocese (She also criminally charged seven predator priests in just one year).


(For Immediate Release January 19, 2023) 

On behalf of a former altar boy, attorneys on Thursday filed a civil lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Denver and a nearby church. We applaud the brave survivor in this case for coming forward, sharing his story, and assuredly letting other victims know they are not alone and that there is a pathway forward to healing and justice.

The lawsuit filed today accuses a longtime priest, Rev. Timothy Evans – one of Colorado's most notorious sex abusers – of sexually assaulting Scott Verti more than 100 times inside church buildings and at the priest's apartment. Scott says he was repeatedly abused between the ages of 14 and 18, from 1999 to 2003, at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Parish in Fort Collins by Fr. Evans.  Scott spent a lot of time at the parish during the abuse years, serving as an altar boy and staying late into the night and coming in early on Sundays. According to court documents, Fr. Evans exploited his position of authority to dominate his victim and keep him silent about the violence he was experiencing. The priest was convicted of sex crimes against children in 2007 and was serving time in prison for those assaults when he was finally laicized in 2013.

Like the majority of childhood sexual abuse survivors, Scott suffered permanent injuries as a result of this abuse. We stand with Scott and applaud his bravery and courage as he seeks to hold the Church accountable for the injuries he suffered and for the cover-up. We hope that Scott's example will provide hope and encouragement to other victims throughout Colorado, and we are confident that his speaking out today will inspire others to break their silence.

We are also grateful to attorneys Kurt Zaner and Mara Essick of Zaner Harden for aggressively pursuing this case and helping Scott find justice. Especially given the fact that Catholic officials never pursued an investigation of their own in the late 1990s, when the first accusations were made, there is no doubt in our minds that the Church breached its duty of care to Scott. Thanks to these attorneys and this brave survivor, the institution is now finally being held accountable.

CONTACT: Contact: Jeb Barrett, SNAP Leader Colorado,( 720-608-8532 [email protected]) Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager ([email protected] 267-261-0578) Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009) Shaun Dougherty, SNAP Board President, (814-341-8386 [email protected])

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is



SNAP Urges Lawmakers in Maryland to Advance and Pass Child Victims Act of 2023

(For Immediate Release January 19, 2023)

The Child Victims Act of 2023, a bill that would change Maryland's statute of limitations, will be explained before the Maryland Senate Judiciary Proceedings Committee. We hope that this meeting will help legislators better understand the urgent need to remove age and time constraints on civil claims in Maryland for victims of childhood abuse.

The road to justice is frequently difficult for victims of molestation, assault, and childhood sexual abuse. Most survivors don't even begin to accept the abuse until they are far into adulthood, a medical fact known as delayed disclosure. Due to this delay, it is normal for adults in their 30s, 40s, or 50s to acknowledge and admit to having been the victim of child sexual abuse. Despite this fact, civil statute of limitations laws around the country have been slow to change to reflect this reality,

Reviving adult victims of child sex abuse's civil claims is the only means to ensure that justice is served in cases when the civil SOL has passed. In other words, individuals deserve the chance to initiate civil actions if they so choose to correct the wrongs done to them. Older accusations of abuse should be admissible for a variety of reasons, including the importance of maintaining the public's safety. The public gains in many ways when victims can report their abuse and file claims for damages. Most clearly, abusers and those complicit in enabling them are exposed, helping protect other children from the same fate.

Since window legislation has passed in states including New York, New Jersey, and California, we have seen hundreds if not thousands of new survivors come forward, exposing uncomfortable truths about hidden perpetrators and their enablers. To us, there is no question that this law will provide a path toward justice, healing, and prevention for survivors in Maryland.

Society is made safer every time a survivor comes forward to share their experience. We are aware that many abusers are still alive and unreported, endangering the communities in which they reside. The Child Victims Act of 2023 will aid in fixing that issue, enabling survivors to come forward and fostering safer, more educated communities.

We appreciate the Maryland General Assembly for pursuing this remedy for abuse victims, and we hope that Anthony Brown, the state's attorney general, will support victims and use the authority of his position to fight for the release of the thorough investigation into sexual abuse by Catholic clergy in Maryland. Together, we can devise fresh approaches to safeguard children and assist survivors.

 CONTACT: Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager ([email protected] 267-261-0578) Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009) Shaun Dougherty, SNAP Board President, (814-341-8386 [email protected])

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is

Philadelphia Area Catholic Grade School Teacher Charged with Child Pornography Crimes

(For Immediate Release January 18, 2023) 

Todd Philip Napolitano was arrested on January 13, 2023, on charges he disseminated sexually explicit photos and film of child sex acts, child pornography, and criminal use of a communication facility.  Napolitano started teaching middle schoolers at St. Charles Borromeo School, a private Catholic school in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, roughly five months ago.

Child pornography is illegal to view, own, share, or produce, and for good reason. The boys and girls in the pictures are victims of sexual abuse and likely do not know it yet. These poor, helpless children will endure anguish and misery for the rest of their lives. Additionally, it is not unusual for people who own child porn to abuse sexually.

We urge Archbishop Nelson Perez of Philadelphia to take aggressive steps and reach out directly to the parents/guardians of students at St Charles. Also, it is incumbent upon Church officials to publicly share the work history of Napolitano. It is highly unlikely that this horrific crime was the first time for this defendant, and we are concerned that Napolitano has worked in other local schools in the tri-state area.

No matter what the courts or Catholic officials do or do not do, we implore everyone who witnessed, suspected, or suffered from child sex crimes and cover-ups in Catholic churches or institutions to protect children by calling the police, expose predators by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and receive help by contacting therapists and support groups like us. In this way, children will be safer, people will recover, criminals will face justice, cover-ups will be discouraged, and the truth will come to light.

CONTACT: Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager ([email protected] 267-261-0578) Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009) Shaun Dougherty, SNAP Board President, (814-341-8386 [email protected])

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is

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