Roster of Press Releases


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Clergy sex victims praise court ruling

US Supreme Court lets case vs. Vatican go ahead

It’s only the second time in history a victim can sue Rome

Group urges church officials to stop their “stalling tactics”

For 8 years, Pope’s lawyers keep “exploiting legal technicalities”

Predator priest molested in Ireland, Chicago, then in Portland OR

SNAP urges others with information about predator priest to “speak up”

Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will praise
-- a clergy sex abuse victim for persisting through eight years of legal delay, and
-- the US Supreme Court for letting his abuse and cover up case against the Vatican move forward.

They will also blast Pope Benedict for
-- letting his lawyer keep trying to “exploit legal technicalities” instead of fighting on the merits, and
-- publicly claiming he’ll “do everything possible” to stop future abuse while quietly working in court to prevent wrong-doers from being exposed.

The victims will also urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered the cleric’s crimes to come forward, speak up, and get help.

WHEN: Tuesday, June 29, 1:15 p.m.

WHERE: On the sidewalk in front of the Archdiocese headquarters, 835 N Rush Street (North of Chicago Ave)

WHO: Three clergy sex abuse victims who belong to a Chicago-based international support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (

WHY: Yesterday, the US Supreme Court let a highly unusual clergy sex abuse and cover up lawsuit proceed, even though it names the Vatican as a defendant. It’s only the second time in US history that a case like this has been given the ‘green light’ by the nation’s highest court.

It involves Fr. Andrew P. Ronan, an Irish cleric. According to, Ronan was accused of abusing a seminarian in Ireland, was then sent to Chicago where he was accused of abuse of high school students in Chicago in 1963-1964. Then, Ronan was sent to Portland, OR where he abused again in the mid 1960s.

Ronan was defrocked in 1966 and died in 1992. He belonged to a Chicago-based religious order called the Servites. This civil suit was filed in 2002. The victim basically won at all levels – the lower Oregon court and in 2006 in a Sacramento federal appeals court. The victim’s attorneys are Jeff Anderson and Mike Finnegan of St. Paul MN (651 227 9990, 612 817 8665) and Kevin Stever and Bill Barton of Portland OR.

SNAP members want Vatican officials to fight on the merits, not the technicalities, and stop trying to take advantage of every possible legal maneuver, so that the truth can be exposed and that the alleged victim can reach some degree of healing and closure. The group wants Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George to prod church bureaucrats in Rome to expedite the case.

Two weeks ago, Pope Benedict pledged to “do everything possible” to stop future clergy sex crimes. That promise is contradicted, SNAP believes, by the Pope’s actions in court cases, in which Vatican lawyers are still trying to protect secrets about cover ups and church employees who concealed child sex crimes.

(SNAP is holding a similar news conference today, Tuesday, at 11:15 p.m. Pacific in Portland where Ronan also worked.)

Barbara Blaine, SNAP President, 312 399 4747
David Clohessy, SNAP Executive Director, 314 566 9790
Barbara Dorris, SNAP Outreach Director, 314 503 0003

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests