OR--Victims blast Portland archbishop over Spotlight remarks

For immediate release: Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)

Shame on Portland’s Catholic archbishop for engaging in self-promotion instead of abuse prevention by posturing about the award-winning film “Spotlight.”


Archbishop Alexander Sample tried to put the church’s on-going child sex abuse and cover up crisis in the past, calling it “a tragic chapter in the history of the Church in the United States.” That’s disingenuous.

He knows this is still happening. It’s not “history.”

He knows it’s worldwide. It’s not “in the US.”

He knows that apologies are offered after a crisis, not during one.

And he knows that the “efforts the Church has made to create safe environments” are grudging, belated and largely unenforced, adopted largely as public relations moves forced by tremendous public, parishioner and legal pressure.

Semple could have used this opportunity to beg victims to call police, prod legislators to reform predator-friendly laws, urge parents to be careful who they trust with their kids, or remind employees to promptly report abuse suspicions.

He did none of this. Given a chance to help others, he used it to help himself. He could have offered helpful advice. Instead, offered deceptive platitudes.

Let us say now what Sample should be saying often: If you see, suspect or suffer abuse, please speak up. Please seek help from independent sources. Please call police or prosecutors. Please do not call church officials.

We hope every person in Oregon who was hurt by child molesting clerics will do what victims in the film Spotlight did – call law enforcement, civil attorneys, investigative journalists and support groups so that the truth can be exposed and children can be spared.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 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, davidgclohessy@gmail.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747,bblaine@snapnetwork.org), Bill Crane (503-836-2152),



PDX Archbishop responds to 'Spotlight' movie popularity


PORTLAND, Ore. — "Spotlight," the movie that won best picture at the Oscars, reignited the conversation surrounding the Catholic Church's sex abuse scandal, especially among survivors.

The movie depicts how Globe reporters uncovered a network of priests abusing children and systemic cover-up by the Catholic Church.

"This film gave a voice to survivors and this Oscar amplifies that voice, which we hope will become a choir that will resonate all the way to the Vatican," said Michael Sugar, the film's director upon accepting the Oscar Sunday night.

Monday afternoon, the columnist Lucetta Scaraffia, wrote  . . . 

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