The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

Statement Regarding the New Lawsuit Against Indiana/Florida Priest, Fr. Emerson


Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago
SNAP founder & president 312 399 4747

We applaud this brave man for seeking to expose the truth and warn others about a dangerous priest. The overwhelming majority of clergy sex abuse victims don't take legal action. Many can't, because or archaic restrictions and technicalities like the statute of limitations. Many others can't, because they struggle daily with depression, addictions and other severe, long-lasting after effects of these horrific crimes.

But sadly, many feel like they have no option but to seek justice in the courts. And virtually all victims want to do whatever we can to make sure that others aren't hurt the way we've been hurt. This brave man deserves our praise and gratitude for trying to safeguard others at risk.

We are especially concerned about kids exposed to Emerson over the past few months. While church leaders dragged their feet, unsuspecting parents and innocent kids were needlessly in harm's way.

Both bishops, we believe, owe their flocks a straightforward explanation, especially given all the promises you and your fellow Catholic officials have given about being more open and transparent.

Finally, we hope this action today will prod others who witnessed, experienced abuse by Emerson or other clergy to come forward, report to law enforcement, and get the help and healing they need and deserve.

(SNAP, is the nation’s oldest and largest support group for victims of clergy sexual abuse with support groups in over 60 cities nation wide.)

For more information:
David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP National Director (314) 566-9790 cell
Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP Founder and President (312) 399 4747 cell

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests