Roster of Statements


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Vatican tamps down uproar over homosexual comment; SNAP responds

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

Bertone is the 'deputy pope,' Benedict's right hand man, the #2 Vatican official. He's incredibly smart. So his remarks were no "slip up." They were calculated, as are so many similarly misguided, distracting, blame-shifting, finger-pointing comments by so many church staff seeking to scapegoat others - among them journalists, prosecutors, lawmakers, victims, lawyers, liberals, and gay people.

Bertone's statements rub even more salt into the already-deep and still-fresh wounds of hundreds of thousands of men and women who have been assaulted by clerics and betrayed by bishops, especially women and girls. They deny and minimize the deep devastation felt by hundreds of thousands of women and girls who are suffering and have suffered because of pedophile priests and corrupt supervisors.

This alleged pedophilia-ephebophilia "distinction" is like a bank robber minimizing his crimes by claiming he pointed a small pistol at the innocent patrons and took only $50 bills, not $100 bills.

If the Pope wants to stop his staff from saying hurtful things, he should discipline the next one who does, instead of sending his PR man out to duck, dodge, deny and distance the pontiff from the mean-spirited and misguided remarks of his underlings. These callous, self-serving remarks deny and minimize the devastating harm done to hundreds of thousands of girls who were raped and sodomized by priests, nuns, bishops, brothers and seminarians.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around since 1988 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)

Vatican tamps down uproar over homosexual comment

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican is trying to defuse anger over remarks by the pope's top aide that the priest sex abuse scandals are linked to homosexuality.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican's secretary of state, told reporters in Chile this week that the clerical abuse scandals are linked not to the church's celibacy requirement for priests but to homosexuality.

The French government on Wednesday condemned the association as unacceptable and gay rights groups contend the Vatican is trying to shirk responsibility for the abuse.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi indicated Bertone wasn't making a psychological or medical assertion when he said psychologists have demonstrated no links between celibacy and pedophilia.

Lombardi cited statistics from a Vatican prosecutor that most cases involved abuse of adolescents and 60 percent involved homosexuality.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests