SNAP Delivers Letter to Papal Nuncio in Advance of February Summit

Leaders from the nation’s oldest and largest advocacy group for victims of clergy and institutional sex abuse delivered a letter today to the papal nuncio, asking for Pope Francis to take five specific actions at his summit in February and requesting a meeting with Pope Francis.

Representatives from SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, delivered the letter today which outlines specific actions that they are asking the Pope to take at the papal abuse summit to be held in Rome from February 21 to 24. They are also asking for a meeting to explain why these requested actions will not only help survivors heal but also protect children by preventing future cases of abuse from happening in the first place.

In their letter, the group calls for Pope Francis to:

  1. Fire any and all bishops or cardinals who have had a hand in clergy sex abuse cover-ups,
  2. Impose “dramatic and punitive consequences” to deter any future cover-ups,
  3. Eliminate any directive for church staff to report abuse to bishops and instead direct all church staff and officials to make reports to law enforcement, and
  4. Compel bishops around the world to turn their files over to law enforcement for independent investigations into their handling of clergy sex abuse cases, and
  5. Order your bishops and other hierarchs to cease lobbying efforts against legislative reform that would benefit survivors.

Leaders of the group are willing to meet with the Pope but only if he shows that he is taking the abuse crisis seriously by taking the actions above. In SNAP’s view, absent any decisive action on prelates who have helped keep cases of sexual violence hidden, the summit will be a failure.

“We are asking Pope Francis to demonstrate that he understands just how deeply this crisis is rooted and that to address it fully he must make examples of the men at the summit who have helped keep cases of clergy abuse hidden,” said Becky Ianni, SNAP Board Member and Treasurer and who delivered today’s letter. “We – and the rest of the world – are watching and waiting.”

A copy of SNAP's letter can be found here.

CONTACT: Becky Ianni, SNAP Treasurer ([email protected], 703-801-6044) Zach Hiner, Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009), Tim Lennon, SNAP President ([email protected], 415-312-5820)

(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