SNAP responds to Zubik's public declaration

As best we can tell, this victim isn't bringing or can't bring criminal charges or civil litigation against Zubik (probably  because of the statutes of limitations). He apparently tried to get news media to report on his accusation without success. He did post his allegation on his own blog.
Given these facts, it's odd that Zubik himself made the accusation public through a news conference.
False allegations against Catholic clerics are rare. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) publishes annual reports on the child sex abuse crisis that include its counts of false allegations or false/unsubstantiated allegations. (Of course, these counts are internal, highly suspect and not possible to verify.)

In its report published in 2005, the USCCB said that of all the allegations reported in 2004, 6% of the allegations against diocesan priests and 5% of the allegations against order priests "were determined to be false by December 31, 2004." (Report is linked below. See pg. 19 of the pdf for the 6% figure and page 20 of the pdf for the 5% figure.)
So by US church officials' own counts, false allegations are rare.
A number of church officials have admitted this publicly. Australian Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, for example, has said "Experience has shown that the number of false claims of abuse is quite small." Former USCCB president Wilton Gregory, now Atlanta's archbishop, has made similar statements.
The church hierarchy's most experienced defense lawyer has made a similar admission in an interview with the New York Times:
Patrick Schiltz, dean of the University of St. Thomas law school in Minnesota, said that over more than a decade he had defended Catholic dioceses against sexual-abuse lawsuits in more than 500 cases, and that he had concluded that ''fewer than 10'' of those cases were based on false accusations.
In a few instances, a credibly accused child molesting cleric has "gone on the offensive," disclosing allegations against him in the hopes of 'spinning' the situation and hoping to deter others who may have seen, suspected or suffered his crimes will be intimidated into staying silent. We hope that's not happening here.
If anyone has any information that might shed light on these allegations - in either direction - it's crucial that he or she speak up immediately. We urge people with information or suspicions that might be helpful to call law enforcement officials and other independent sources as soon as possible.

(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 23 years and have more than 10,000 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 (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747[email protected]), Peter Isely(414-429-7259[email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, [email protected])


Showing 3 comments

  • Judy Jones
    commented 2011-10-07 20:41:06 -0500
    Robert… I can answer one of your questions…

    SNAP is no way affiliated with the church officials.. most of our over 10,000 members are victims ( who were loyal catholic kids )…who were sexually abused by catholic clergy.

    We are here for the victims and those who have been abused and harmed by priests, bishops, employees, volunteers, etc…

    Tks, Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, 636-433-2511
  • Robert Connor
    commented 2011-10-06 23:15:21 -0500
    I live in the area. The media has already said who the survivor is. I heard he has a blog that I would like to read and I am interested in how all this turns out. I have had abuse from the church too, but it was not sexual, just mean and nasty. Do many people here support the Catholic church?
  • Barbara Dorris
    published this page in Official SNAP Media Statements 2011-10-05 10:45:00 -0500

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