Roster of Statements


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement


For immediate release:
Wednesday, May 14, 2008

On eve of trial, 17 clergy sex abuse victims settle with Salesians for $19.4 million

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)

We are grateful for the courage and persistence of these caring victims. We appreciate their bravery in exposing their predators and their wisdom in taking legal action. All victims and Catholics should be especially grateful that these victims were strong enough to take on the most intransigent, callous and reckless Catholic institution – the Salesians.

This settlement changes nothing, however, about the Salesians’ horrific and continuing pattern of protecting and shuffling predator priests. A lengthy investigation by the Dallas Morning News found that more than 200 Salesian clerics who’ve been credibly accused of child sex crimes yet have been transferred from country to country. In 2004, 30 of these predators faced criminal action (either convictions or pending charges) in one nation but had fled to another nation and were living freely.

And even now, a Salesian parish in San Francisco (Sts. Peter & Paul) holds the disturbing distinction of housing the highest umber of predators of any Catholic parish in the US.

This is a recalcitrant, almost spiteful Catholic institution with a shameful record of shunning victims, playing legal hardball

Every time an institution resolves a sex abuse case, it helps protect kids and heal victims. Every settlement also puts more pressure on others who oversee kids to do a better job of preventing abuse and responding to allegations of abuse.

When church officials are forced to set aside their spurious legal theories, scorched earth tactics and delaying maneuvers, and finally settle cases, deeply wounded victims finally get some long-overdue justice and healing.

(Note: The announcement was made in LA County Superior Court this morning. LA attorney Ray Boucher represents the victims.)

Contact: David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, 314 645 5915 home), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Joelle Casteix (949-322-97434), Barbara Dorris (314 862 7688)

More info on these cases

Who are the Salesians?

(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 8,000 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

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests