PA- Victims say “Send Msgr. Lynn back to prison”

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003 cell, [email protected])


We believe Msgr. William Lynn should go back to prison because it’s just and the best way to deter others who may conceal.

One could argue that those who conceal child sex crimes are more culpable than those who commit them. Predators are often sick individuals with a virtually uncontrollable compulsion to assault kids. Enablers, however, are presumably otherwise healthy individuals who deliberately choose to hurt kids by ignoring, hiding and, in effect, facilitating predators.

We suspect no penalty will stop the Fr. Edward Averys from molesting. (That’s why prison is important: it’s the only sure-fire way to keep predators away from prey.) But we’re confident that harsh penalties will stop the Msgr. Lynns from enabling.

And in the Catholic Church, nearly every other prevention measure – except punishing the hierarchy - has failed. Despite decades of scandals, lawsuits, settlements, exposes, prosecutions, and defections, bishops keep protecting predators and endangering kids.

So something more and different must be done. Punishing wrongdoers must happen, instead of promoting wrongdoers.

Some will no doubt consider our view punitive. It’s not. It’s preventative. It’s what our society must do more often if children are to be safer from heinous crimes.


(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

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris(314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747[email protected])

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