Two new child sexual abuse and cover-up lawsuits have been filed against the Diocese of Charlotte, NC. We applaud these brave survivors for coming forward and sharing their stories and hope they are able to find justice and healing.
In a surreal move, Catholic officials have removed from ministry a pastor who has been critical of the Church’s response to cases of child sexual abuse. During the current pandemic, it seems particularly important to us that priests are able to reach out to their parishioners using social media.
We are disappointed that a court-appointed special master has chosen to avoid bringing “embarrassment and public scrutiny” to public relations staffers who reportedly helped the Archdiocese of New Orleans cultivate its woefully inadequate list of accused priests. This case deserved the openness and transparency that will better protect children and support survivors, not concerns about the reputations of the powerful. We hope the judge will reject the special master’s recommendation and instead release the emails to the public.
We are dismayed and heartbroken that Cardinal George Pell has successfully challenged his conviction for sexually abusing two choirboys and will be freed from prison. Once again, the powerful have won and the prize is the continuation of the Catholic Church’s tradition of abuse obfuscation and minimization. Our hearts ache for the surviving accuser in this case, and we hope that this disappointing ruling does not deter other victims from coming forward to report their abuse.
As if we needed more examples that institutions cannot police themselves, the United States Tennis Association has provided the latest reason why all allegations of sexual abuse must be reported to and investigated by independent law enforcement officials.
The Catholic Diocese of Belleville is getting a new bishop following the retirement of their current prelate. We hope that Belleville’s leader elect will usher in a new era of transparency and openness, but we are skeptical that this will actually happen.
Two more men have come forward to allege that they were abused by Australia’s highest-ranking Catholic official. This story is a reminder of the challenges that survivors face and is a call-to-action for us to address those challenges in order to create a culture that supports survivors instead of demonizing them when they bring claims forward.
With 14 years of courageous reporting on Baptist clergy sex abuse and church cover-ups, journalist Bob Allen made a difference in the lives of countless survivors and helped to make church kids throughout the country safer. In response to the announcement of his retirement on March 31, SNAP can only say “thank you.”
SNAP Calls on Diocese of Richmond to Extend Deadline to Register for Compensation Program in Light of Coronavirus
In February, the Diocese of Richmond quietly announced a compensation program for survivors. Their program has an incredibly short registration window, barely lasting two months. Now, in light of coronavirus concerns that have paralyzed a nation, we are calling on Catholic officials in Richmond to extend the deadline for their compensation program and make efforts to ensure that survivors of clergy abuse are aware of the program’s existence.
One of Pennsylvania’s Catholic dioceses is suspending its compensation program for the next 90 days because of stock market concerns caused by the coronavirus. This is a hurtful and deceitful move that clearly shows that the best pathway for survivors to get justice is through the court system and not church-run programs.