Roster of Statements


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement


For immediate release:
Thursday, Aug. 9, 2007

Sex abuse victims respond to #2 Vatican official's new remarks

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell)

Every time an insensitive church bureaucrat makes hurtful public comments like this, it rubs more salt into the already deep and still fresh wounds of American Catholics and sex abuse victims.

Tens of thousands of brave men and women still suffer today because of horrific abuse as kids by priests and callous betrayal by bishops. Several hundred of them are exposing predators, protecting kids and seeking justice. By their courage, they are doing a service to the church. They deserve compassion and praise, not vilification. Their decisive, admirable efforts to alert parents about pedophile priests deserve recognition, not rebuke.

The Catholic church hierarchy has not been 'singled out' by anyone. It is, however, an institution with the most widely documented history of repeatedly protecting predators, shunning victims, decieving parishioners, stonewalling prosecutors, and stiff-arming journalists, all so that the reputations of top church officials could be safeguarded.

Vatican officials have done virtually nothing to protect the vulnerable. We hope, however, that some day soon they'll at leasts stop re-victimizing the wounded.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the nation’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 17 years and have more than 7,000 members across the country. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is

Contact:  David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, 314-645-5915 home), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688), Mary Grant (626-419-2930), Mark Serrano (703-727-4940)


Cardinal Bertone addresses US sex abuse crisis

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone praised the US Catholic hierarchy's response to sex abuse scandal while scorning those who turned it into a business opportunity.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

A particularly candid Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone spoke yesterday afternoon about the situation surrounding the sex abuse scandal in the United States. The Church’s second in command praised the Church’s response and reserved some critical words for those who have seized on the scandal as an opportunity for profit.

“The Church in the US has suffered deeply, has responded with dignity, and invites everyone to truly commit to a reversal of this situation,” said Bertone.

“While I was still at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and then as the Archbishop of Genoa, I accompanied the American Church through this trial, this period, and I repeat that they faced this trial with dignity and courage.”

However, the Cardinal was particularly upset with those who have turned the situation into a means of making a profit. “The business aspect, the financial aspect, has nothing to do with cleaning up the reality of the situation. It is an unbearable business that has been created here in the United States…it’s unbearable and also disgraceful.”

The Cardinal also seemed to speak with some indignation about the way that the Church has been singled out as a target. He said that, “the proportion of priests who are involved in this scandal is very small given that there are 44,000 priests in the United States.”

“I could only hope that the other social agencies would have the same courage to face this problem as the Roman Catholic Church did.”

The Secretary of State also showed that he was concerned that a comprehensive solution is provided to the sex abuse problem and continued to point out how the most analysis of the Church’s response is slanted.

“I ask if the other organizations have provided financial compensation for the victims…have they taken care of the victims and those who have been guilty? We cannot abandon the victims or dismiss the guilty as lost.”

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests