SNAP Applauds Survivor who Came Forward in Mississippi

A survivor has stepped forward in Mississippi to report the abuse she suffered at the hands of a Mississippi priest. We would like to thank this courageous survivor for coming forward and reporting these crimes committed against her.

We would also like to encourage other survivors to come forward and report crimes committed against themselves. Report to the police first, regardless of how long ago these crimes were committed. The Church should be the last institution notified about such crimes.

The ‘credible' list of names released by church officials in March was years overdue. Furthermore, delaying the addition of Balser’s name to this list because of some arbitrary internal Church procedure is a travesty. This delay harms the survivor as well as many others. Stating that there was no intercourse only serves the Church in its effort to minimize this crime. Crimes of this nature are damaging to children no matter what took place. Shame on Bishop Kopacz, his fitness board, the church lawyers and any other Church official who participated in downplaying this crime.

CONTACT: Mark Belenchia, SNAP Mississippi ([email protected], 601-953-2535) Zach Hiner, Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is

SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant