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).

Retired Buffalo Catholic priest placed on administrative leave following an allegation of child sexual abuse

According to a lawsuit filed Wednesday, Rev. Msgr. Leo McCarthy is accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl at St. Matthew's Church and School in 1982. The priest has been placed on leave by the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. Although Msgr. McCarthy is retired, he was assisting in parish ministry at Blessed Sacrament Church in the Town of Tonawanda before his leave. The cleric denies the allegations.


Former Catholic Brother named in a civil lawsuit in Charlotte already identified as an abuser; SNAP reacts

Al Behm, a former Catholic Brother with the Glenmary Home Missioners (GHM), has been accused of sexually abusing a boy in the Diocese of Charlotte in a recently filed lawsuitBehm was identified as an abuser by the GHM in October of 2019 and is also named by the Diocese of Charlotte, although only as someone who was "accused elsewhere.Behm left the Brotherhood in 1993. We are disturbed that from that time until a couple of years ago, the former Brother has been free to continue working with children in unsuspecting communities.


Cincinnati Residents Speak Out against Legionaries of Christ

Cincinnati parents have come together to use their voices and influence to protect their children from one of the world’s most abusive Catholic orders. We applaud these residents for pushing back against a plan that could put young lives in danger. We hope that their example will inspire other parents and parishioners across the country.


Maine Priest Accused of Abusing a Young Girl in the 1980s


Michigan Catholic Diocese has deemed allegations of child sexual abuse against Bishop James Sullivan as credible; SNAP responds

“Following investigation and review, the Diocese of Lansing has found two allegations against the late Bishop James Sullivan to be credible,” the spokesman for the Diocese said today. The accusations stemmed from the mid-1960s when then-Father Sullivan resided at the Church of the Resurrection Parish in Lansing.

This development illustrates how important it is for victims to report sex crimes to secular authorities, regardless of how long ago they occurred. We commend the Michigan Attorney General’s office for opening an investigation into clergy sexual abuse which resulted in an accusation against the Bishop being reported. This information was passed along to the Lansing Diocese and prodded it to launch its own probe. We are confident that the information given to secular authorities played a significant role in the Diocese's internal investigation.


The Boy Scouts of America settles claims for tens of thousands victimized; SNAP stands with survivors in support.

The Boy Scouts of America, which entered bankruptcy in 2020, announced a record settlement yesterday of 850 million dollars for the almost 90,000 claims filed against it. We applaud the survivors who came forward to speak their truth. The courage of these victims has led to the discovery and exposure of heinous crimes. We commend them for their bravery and integrity in the face of an organization designed to nurture and guide young boys that instead turned a blind eye to criminal behavior. 


SNAP joins Iowa State Senator Janet Petersen in calling on Governor Kim Reynolds and Attorney General Tom Miller to support window legislation

We fully agree with the opinion piece written by Iowa State Senator Janet Petersen. Our applause for her willingness to champion window legislation, which will protect the vulnerable and hold child predators and the institutions who enable them accountable. For too long, survivors have held the entire liability for the long-term effects of the abuse they suffered. Regardless of when the crime occurred, it is time to shift the cost back where it belongs, to the perpetrator and to the organizations who covered up for them. Attorney General Miller took a positive step forward and investigated the Catholic dioceses in his state, but so far nothing has been done to hold the Church accountable for the damage it caused.


Conviction of Bill Cosby Overturned, SNAP reacts

The conviction of Bill Cosby, a monumental moment in the fight for visibility and justice for sexual assault survivors and an event that helped rejuvenate the #MeToo movement, was overturned today. We disagree with this ruling and the message it sends and hope that survivors of sexual violence everywhere are able to get the help and support they need.


Recent Report on abuse In Poland's Catholic Church is appalling, SNAP calls for secular action

A report issued today by the Catholic Church in Poland says that 292 clergymen sexually abused 368 boys and girls between 2018-2020. We urge secular authorities to investigate every diocese in the country, as it appears that the Church's appalling record on abuse continues unabated.

We also call on Vatican officials to do more than just punish a few Polish Bishops and Archbishops. The ongoing investigation of negligence by the now-retired Cardinal Dziwisz must be amplified and expedited. The first report on abuse cases from Poland listed 625 minors who suffered sexual abuse at the hands of 382 clergies. 42 previously named perpetrators re-appear in this current report. We hope that this does not mean that those dangerous men remained in ministry.


Bishop Mark Bartchak of the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese in Pennsylvania is named the Vatican's highest court; SNAP reacts.

We are angered to learn Pope Francis appointed the Pennsylvania Bishop Mark Bartchak to the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican's highest court. Making matters worse is the fact that when the appointment was announced, the media failed to mention Bartchak's role described in the scathing 2018 Pennsylvania grand jury report and we feel that Bishop Bartchak's role in the cover-up of abuse should disqualify him from this position of honor.


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