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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

For immediate release: Wednesday, July 14, 2010

200 clergy sex victims meet amid growing global Catholic crisis

Clergy sex abuse victims hold national convention in Chicago

A woman who once headed the US Catholic church’s national child sex panel, and has been very outspoken about the cardinals, will speak to the world’s largest support group for victims of clergy sexual predators later this month in Chicago.

Justice Anne Burke, now an Illinois Supreme Court Judge, will address more than 200 members of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, at the organization’s annual national conference.

From 2002 to 2004, Burke chaired the US Conference of Catholic Bishops Lay Review Board which was charged with overseeing the on-going crisis.

"Bishops got away with concealing crime," Burke said in Kerry Kennedy’s 2007 book Being Catholic Now. “Just when you think these bishops are ‘getting it,’ they turn around and do something that in any other enterprise would result in their own dismissal." (see

Regarding Chicago Cardinal Francis George, Burke told Kennedy "The cardinal wasn't honest with me. Perhaps he was not honest with himself."

Burke was especially critical of George’s mishandling of Fr. Daniel McCormack, who is in prison now for molesting kids and was sued again just last week and again earlier this week for child sex crimes.

Other speakers include Phillip Koss, a Wisconsin prosecutor who successfully convicted a prominent Jesuit predator (Fr. Daniel McGuire), Christine Courtois, one of the earliest clinicians to discover effective treatment for victims of child sexual abuse, and long-time church whistleblower and former Vatican Embassy staffer Fr. Thomas Doyle.

“Our theme for this event and our two main goals are healing and prevention, here and around the world,” said Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP’s outreach director. “As the church’s on-going scandal spreads across the globe, now more than ever, victims need to know that they are not alone.”

The event will be held July 30-August 1 at Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza, 350 West Mart Center Drive, Chicago. Registration information is available on SNAP’s website,

SNAP was founded in Chicago in 1988 by clergy abuse survivor Barbara Blaine, then a social worker running a homeless shelter. Today, with more than 9,000 members, 65 support groups across the country and members in 20 other countries, SNAP is the world’s oldest and largest self-help organization of clergy molestation victims and their families.

For more information, contact:
Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP outreach director, 314-503-0003, [email protected]
Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP president and founder, 312-399-4747, [email protected]
David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP executive director, 314-566-9790, [email protected]

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests