Rome- Pope “shares the pain” of wrongly accused priests; SNAP responds

For immediate release: Thursday, March 6, 2014

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, [email protected]) 

A newspaper in southern Italy reports that Pope Francis told a group of priests he considers “falsely accused” that he “shares their pain.” 

If true, the pontiff is now rubbing even more salt into the wounds of suffering victims and betrayed Catholics. Hundreds of thousands of children have been sexually violated by clergy. A tiny fraction of clergy have been “falsely accused.” A number of Catholic officials have made this clear. 

Fewer than two percent of sexual abuse allegations against the Catholic church appear to be false,” according to

The Pope should have made this clear. He should do so now. Until he does, he is again moving backwards on abuse and making the crisis worse by mischaracterizing and minimizing it.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 15,000 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])



Showing 7 comments

  • Thomas Hennigan
    commented 2018-07-31 12:45:39 -0500
    SNAP is a despicable anti-Catholic hate group which has done untold damage to innocent priests and is proven to be in cahoots with prosecutors who have become millionaires due to this. What about the Chines priest falsely accused by SNAP?
  • Patricia Sulecki
    commented 2014-03-06 15:13:38 -0600
    Lani Halter, National Catholic Reporter.
    I’m quoting from Google—Catholic charities also receive millions of dollars from the federal government. Under the Obama administration, Catholic religious charities have received more than $650 million in federal funds. And Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), a nationwide association of Catholic charities, receives over half its revenue from taxpayer money. As The New York Times detailed in December 2011:
    Catholic Charities is one of the nation’s most extensive social service networks, serving more than 10 million poor adults and children of many faiths across the country. It is made up of local affiliates that answer to local bishops and dioceses, but much of its revenue comes from the government. Catholic Charities affiliates received a total of nearly $2.9 billion a year from the government in 2010, about 62 percent of its annual revenue of $4.67 billion.
  • Lani Halter
    commented 2014-03-06 13:41:16 -0600
    What do you mean, Patricia? Is it the tax exemptions allowed to them, that you are referring to? Or, are there other ways that our gov’t actually pays the vatican such a huge sum? e.g. Do you mean our gov’t has borrowed money from the vatican’s bank? and, we’re payinng huge, usery interest rates to repay loans from them? I don’t know, I just know the c. church is the largest and richest church on earth, last time i checked…but, that was quite awhile ago now, (that i checked or cared). I guess this is what in, many ways, distinguishes me as a “catholic light” (convert from Lutheran to Catholic, as an adult) and “cradle born” Catholics: I wasn’t raised to be impressed by wealth and or “celebrities”, nor actually, even to be desirous of vast wealth, nor was I much interested in fads or celebrity. So, when contemplating catholicism, I didn’t really wonder or think much about our government subsidising the catholic church, (or any religion, for that matter). But, if you are right about that figure, yes, I would say that is even more reason our government “owes it” to all our citizens, to be involved in assisting the eradication of this scourge in our country.
  • Patricia Sulecki
    commented 2014-03-06 12:51:42 -0600
    Lani Halter, I agree with you" it isn’t Democrat or Republican " but it is a matter of our Government" getting involved; to help the Victim’s; because Our own Government pay’s to the Vatican $2.9 Billion Dollars;
  • Lani Halter
    commented 2014-03-06 12:05:49 -0600
    I think this statistic, is very much what the rest of the world, needs to learn and know: “Fewer than two percent of sexual abuse allegations against the Catholic church appear to be false,” according to

    My own family and inlaws, do in fact often as you say, Mrs. Dorris, move " backwards on abuse and making the crisis worse by mischaracterizing and minimizing it." I do not know if they seriously do not believe the children and adult survivors or simply choose to ignore who, and how very many there are, because they WANT to believe in the “goodness” of their own religion.

    To Patricia S., I would say, yes, try to get both the President and Vice President to pay attention to this horrible scourge, but do not think that it is only because they are Democrats, or that the President is black, that they should. This is not a “political” or “religious” issue, as much as it is truly a matter of crimes against humanity. In my humble opinion, ANY sitting pope or president or vice president, should work and fight to put an end to this scourge in our country, and the world, including the vatican.
  • Patricia Sulecki
    commented 2014-03-06 10:09:51 -0600
    We have to get the all Priest, Nun’s ; who have raped, tortured, abused children as registered sex offenders; there is so much evidence, prof and so many of us victims to get them as sex offenders" ………We have to get Obama/Biden to hear all of our horrible abuse……………………..
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