The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

Statement Regarding Bishops' Survey of Victims


March 31, 2005

Dear SNAP Members, Friends and Supporters,

Just yesterday the bishops launched a survey asking survivors of clergy sexual abuse to give personal information to the bishops’ conference. According to the public relations statements the information will be used to aid survivors and prevent future abuse.

We have just learned alarming information and want to pass it on to you right away. The survey is being conducted by Mary A Lentz. The bishops claim that she is an “Ohio-based child abuse prevention consultant.” However, she also an attorney who has a history of representing Bishop Pilla and the Cleveland Diocese in cases against victims of sex abuse by priests.

At this time we are not recommending “yes” or “no” regarding whether we will encourage SNAP members to participate in the survey. It is likely that we will take a position some time next week, after the SNAP Board has the opportunity to evaluate the situation. We recommend waiting until we have the opportunity to obtain as much information as possible so that everyone can make an informed decision. The deadline for filling out the survey is May 4 so there is no urgency to respond immediately.

Our immediate concern is that one more time the bishops are deceiving victims by failing to disclose significant information regarding Mary Lentz’s history.

Please pass on the following statement to all your media contacts and friends.

SNAP Statement by Mary Grant:

"We are disappointed again by a deceptive move by US Bishops.

Yesterday the bishops announced a new survey inviting victims of clergy sex abuse to disclose private information to the bishops. While the bishops revealed information about the person conducting the survey they failed to include her history of representing the Diocese of Cleveland and Bishop Pilla in cases against sex abuse victims.

We fear that this may further discourage already wounded and skeptical victims from offering valuable feedback to church leaders and others."

For additional information:
Mary Grant, 626 419 2930
David Clohessy, 314 566 9790
Barbara Blaine, 312 399 4747
Peter Isely, 414 429 7259
Mark Serrano, 703 727 4940

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests