The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

Statement Regarding San Francisco Jury Award


Thursday, Mar. 24, 2005

For more information:
Terrie Light of Hayward, SNAP Northwestern Regional Director 510 517 3338
Danny McNevin of Emoryville, Bay Area SNAP Director 415 341 6417
David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP National Director 314 566 9790 cell

Statement by Statement by David Clohessy of SNAP

"No amount of money can magically restore a stolen childhood, a shattered self-esteem or a devastated faith life. Still, I'm confident that Dennis and his family will feel very proud of what they have achieved - finally holding church officials accountable in court for horrific cover ups of horrific sex crimes.

The first verdict is the one that matters most - last week when a jury overwhelmingly found that Catholic officials knew a lot but did very little about Pritchard's terrible crimes. That verdict proved that the bishops' well-financed public relations campaign, designed to minimize their responsibility, has failed. It showed that the public simply doesn't buy the transparently false excuse almost every bishop keeps repeating, that they just didn't understand the sex abuse of children years ago.

We hope the outcome of this trial will encourage others who are still suffering in shame, silence and self-blame to come forward, report to police, get therapy, and seek justice in the courts. We know there are hundreds across the country who have yet to disclose their deep pain to even their most trusted loved ones. They deserve to know that healing is possible, but only when the silence is broken and the truth is exposed.

Every survivor, indeed every Catholic owes Dennis and his family an enormous debt for the courage and strength they have shown in helping to uncover and make known the long-buried and shameful secrets of clergy sex abuse cover ups in the San Francisco archdiocese. The Bible tells us "the truth shall set you free," and we believe that this process will indeed help set Dennis free of the overwhelming burden he has carried for so long."




Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests