Roster of Statements


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Vatican says abuse is throughout the culture: victims respond

Statement by Barbara Blaine (312 399 4747) SNAP President

At the very moment when hundreds of deeply wounded European men and women are finding the courage to expose predator priests, protect kids, and heal themselves, the Vatican responds with finger-pointing and blame-shifting.

Vatican officials act as though only the predator priests are wrong-doers. They cleverly avoid mentioning that corrupt bishops are wrong-doers. And while child molesters are indeed found in every institution, we challenge the Vatican to find an institution that hides, moves and defends molesters as vigorously as the Catholic church.

As a parent, I can't beat my children, then excuse my viciousness by pointing out that others beat children too. That is the height of moral irresponsibility. It's is stunning that in 2010, any church official can be so callous as to try to deflect attention from the hierarchy's on-going, awful and growing abuse and cover up scandal.

When it comes to protecting kids, the Pope is likely the most powerful person on the planet. Literally with a stroke of his pen he could punish wrong-doers, oust predators from the priesthood, and radically change a centuries-old self-serving culture of secrecy, recklessness and deceit. He could warn millions of families about thousands of proven, admitted, and credibly accused predator priests. Instead, like the 'man behind the curtain' in the Wizard of Oz, he tries to deflect attention elsewhere.

(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 21 years and have more than 9,000 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), Peter Isely (414-429-7259), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell)

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests