Rome- Victims upset about papal sainthood

For immediate release: Monday, March 17

For more information: Barbara Blaine, SNAP Founder and President +1 (312)399-4747,  [email protected] and David Clohessy, SNAP Executive Director +1 (314) 566-9790 cell, [email protected]

Victims upset about papal sainthood

Several travel to Rome soon to hold vigil

Group: Honoring John Paul II "rubs salt into deep wounds"

"It also will likely encourage more church cover ups," they say

SNAP "Church must denounce, not praise, those who hurt kids”

An international support group for clergy sex abuse victims plans to hold a vigil on the eve of the canonization of Pope John Paul II.  

"He did many things well but for decades, he turned a blind eye to clergy sex crimes and cover ups," said Barbara Blaine, president of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "For leaving kids in harms' way, he should not receive further honors and praise because rewarding wrongdoers encourages wrongdoing.”

Few dispute that Pope John Paul II “did almost nothing to help stop priests from raping children and stop bishops from hiding these crimes," Blaine said.

SNAP believes that the pontiff “must have known” about the multiple sexual abuse allegations against Legionaries of Christ founder Fr Marcial Maciel Degollado. Instead of disciplining or defrocking Fr. Maciel, the pope held a highly publicized special ceremony celebrating the anniversary of Maciel's ordination..  

“It sends a disturbing message when Catholic officials, who ignored or concealed abuse, are honored,” said Miguel Hurtado of London SNAP. “The message is ‘keep putting the reputations of officials above victims, keep putting children in danger. There will be no negative consequences for you in this church.’”

“Catholic officials must punish, not praise, those who hurt kids, whether directly or indirectly. Not doing so leads to continued cover ups,” said Nicky Davis, Australian SNAP Leader. “It also rubs salt into already deep wounds of victims and betrayed Catholics.”

“For tens of thousands of clergy abuse victims across the world, Pope John Paul's sainthood ceremony will be a difficult time, stirring up wounds and adding to the hopelessness that many feel because the Catholic hierarchy refuses to reform its reckless, callous and deceitful handling of clergy sex case,” said Blaine. “We hope our brief and small presence in Rome will remind victims that they aren't alone and that some one understands their pain.”

(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 18,000 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 (+1 314 566 9790, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (+1 312 399 4747, [email protected], Barbara Dorris (+1 314 503 0003, [email protected]), Peter Isely (+1 414 429 7259, [email protected])


Showing 3 comments

  • Lani Halter
    commented 2014-03-17 16:02:55 -0500
    Yes, Isabel Sinton, I believe actions like those would get attention. But, I don’t think it would actually do anything to advance our cause, as I perceive it. I think we have to be “stone cold serious”, unrelenting and strong, without being sarcastic. Sarcasim may feel good as a non-violent outlet for LEGITIMATE RAGE; however, I believe if we resort to sarcasm it makes us appear weak and it more often allows the bullies (the pedophile clerics and catholic enablers, alike) to label us and our actions as “ridiculous” and not “credible” in the eyes of the rest of the world. We need these bullies, enablers and generally speaking the citizens of the world, to understand that we are serious, and that now is the time to take us seriously.
    May I suggest, that perhaps we do start a petition that more simply states that all those who sign the petition do not want john paul the second, canonized because while alive, he ignored all the children of christ who were tortured and sexually abused by catholic pedophile priests, laity and employees; and he refused to remove the same catholic pedophiles and enablers from the catholic church and turn them over to police. And, pope john paul II’s inaction, because the same pedophiles not only grieviously sinned, but in fact, were and are criminals because of sinning thusly, was heinous and his inaction, indefensible…even in the eyes of Jesus.
    I think the three sources in the New Testament wherein Christ is quoted as saying that these pedophiles would best be dealt with by hanging a millstone around their necks and drowning them, should also be quoted on the petition, perhaps as shown here:
    Matthew 18:6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”
    Mark 9:42 Aramaic Bible in Plain English
    “And everyone who shall subvert one of these little ones who believe in me, it were better for him if a millstone of a donkey were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea.”
    Luke 17:2 American King James Version
    “It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.”

    I think if a petition is done like this, you could and should take it (a petition like that), to the vatican and YouTube.
  • Isabel Sinton
    commented 2014-03-17 14:48:33 -0500
    Start a petition to make John Paul II patron saint of Pedophiles. A couple billion signatures will get attention. Then go to youtube for a bazillion hits.
  • Lani Halter
    commented 2014-03-17 13:22:59 -0500
    Again, thank you, Barbara Blaine and all the other SNAP members who will go to Rome to show that this canonization is WRONG, and to say to the world that we at least, know the difference between right and wrong. (And, that we care about it!) I want to suggest to you that it would be great, if you could all get this post printed in all of your local news outlets, before the event occurs in Rome.
    I also want to repeat for added emphasis, Mrs. Blaine, this comment you make here:
    “…rewarding wrongdoers encourages wrongdoing.”
    Honestly, the fact that all the church hierarchy conveniently ignores this truth, makes me wonder if every single one of them, isn’t a pedophile!?!!! Lord, have mercy on us all, if that is true.

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