The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

Statement Regarding Arrest of Florida Priest


January 28, 2006

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago (312 399 4747)
Founder and President of SNAP

Fr. Neil Doherty is the latest in a string of abusive Catholic priests to be arrested in just the last week. (last Thursday, Fr. Michael Baker in California, last Friday Fr. Bruce MacArthur in Missouri, and last Saturday, Fr. Daniel McCormack in Illinois.)

This trend of increasing arrests of serial pedophile priests is encouraging, long-overdue and significant. Kids are safe only when these dangerous predators are behind bars, not merely suspended or disciplined or defrocked.

Increasingly, civil litigation is leading to criminal prosecution. Information gained in civil lawsuits is being given to police and used to arrest child molesters. (That's true in two cases this week: the Doherty case and the MacArthur case.) So when church officials claim civil suits are purely selfish, we should recall how predators are being criminally charged because victims are filing civil suits.

Our hearts ache for this teenager who was victimized by Doherty and by the irresponsible Catholic hierarchy which has enabled the abuse. Our hearts also ache for his family.

At the same time, we are grateful for their courage. Their strength and bravery is protecting other innocent families, which the Miami Archdiocese has failed to do over and over again.

It's critical that others who suspected, witnessed or experienced Doherty's crimes come forward to law enforcement. If history is any guide, Doherty will secure expensive lawyers who will use every legal technicality possible to free him. So it's crucial that no one remain timid or become complacent, and it's crucial that everyone with information speak up now.

David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP National Director (314) 566-9790 cell
Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP Founder and President (312) 399 4747 cell
Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP National Outreach Director (314) 862 7688

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests