The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

Statement Regarding Cardinal Roger Mahony


October 12, 2005

Statement by Mary Grant of Long Beach (626 419 2930),
Western Regional Director of SNAP

Once again, we see huge gaps between what Cardinal Mahony claims and what his own documents prove.

Mahony claims he let four priests stay around kids after getting reports of abusive behavior. These documents show that Mahony let at least eight priests remain around kids after abuse reports.

The bottom line is that the Cardinal put twice as many kids in harm's way than he's ever admitted.

Mahony claims 219 LA priests are accused of molesting kids. These documents show that at least 245 LA priests are accused of molesting kids.

The bottom line is that the Cardinal misled his flock again. There are 26 more likely predators than the Cardinal has ever admitted before.

But that's not all. When the real documents, not Mahony's parsed and partial summaries, but the real documents finally surface, the truth will be much worse.

Look at the Philadelphia grand jury. Look at what a real, objective examination of confidential church documents proves - "a concerted campaign of cover up" by church officials. Those aren't my words. That's the conclusion of an unbiased panel of citizens who forced access to secret church records.

The impartial grand jury's stunning 400+ report last month that concluded that former Pittsburgh bishops "clearly facilitated rapes," "behaved disgracefully," "clearly tolerated sexual assaults," "concealed priest sexual abuse instead of exposing it," "engaged in a continuous, concerted cover up," and "recklessly placed children in danger of sexual abuse."

When that happens here in LA, when the real documents are disgorged, we'll see the same horrible pattern of deception and deceit.

The Bible says "the truth will set you free." It doesn't say the watered down, carefully choreographed, partial truth. And that's what we're finally getting today, after decades of ridiculouisly expensive, terribly hurtful and ultimately failing hardball legal maneuvers. It's a tiny step in the right direction, being taken only because victims turned to the justice system, not church officials, to help others, warn parents, protect kids, and get the truth.

This shows us a bit more about abusive clerics, not much more about complicit bishops, but a lot about Cardinal Mahony's motivation. He's deathly afraid of civil trials, of being deposed, of taking the witness stand,

So our message today to victims is this:

Because of your courage and persistence, we're inching toward truth, healing and prevention. Because of your bravery, we now know about even more predatory priests. Because you have taken risks and shown strength, kids are safer.

Please keep coming forward, keep reporting these horrific crimes, and keep exposing dangerous men so that children will be spared awful pain.

Our message today to Catholics is this:

Keep the heat on. Keep pushing for the whole truth, not the toned down Mahony version of the truth.

Donate generously to charities and schools, but not to Mahony and his silk-stockinged lawyers.

And keep supporting victims and their families, so that we can heal and so that others will be safeguarded.

Our message today to Cardinal Mahony is this:

As Martin Luther King once said: "No lie lives forever." Your lies won't live forever either. Ever so gradually, your lies are being exposed. Ever so gradually, parents are being warned. Ever so gradually, children are being protected. And all of this in spite of you, not because of you.

You can claim "we just didn't know better," "we just didn't understand," "we just obeyed the therapists." But no one's buying these tired, transparent lies.

You knew that the rape of kids was a crime. You kept it secret. You didn't call the police. You moved the predators. You caused more innocent lives to be shattered.

That's the bottom line.


Mary Grant of Long Beach, SNAP Regional Director (626) 419-2930 cell

David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP National Director (314) 566-9790 cell

Steven Sanchez of Glendale, SNAP Los Angeles Director (818) 262-6540 cell

Manny Vega of Ventura, a police officer and SNAP Leader (805) 207-9027 cell (bilingual)



Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests