Roster of Statements


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Monday, June 28, 2010

Court lets Vatican-sex abuse lawsuit move forward; SNAP responds

Statement by Mark Serrano, SNAP spokesman (703 727 4940)

There’s so much more work to be done, but ever so slowly, the tenacity of courageous victims is beginning to shed light on deeply-buried church secrecy and complicity. This is another crucial step forward towards healthier public understanding of the depth of church corruption.

This court ruling and last week’s Belgian police raid should make every bishop in the world think twice about keeping clergy sex crimes hidden.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “No lie lives forever.” This decision gives hope to hundreds of thousands of clergy sex abuse victims across the globe who know lies remain under wraps at the Vatican and will only be unearthed through persistent action by secular justice officials and systems.

We’re thrilled that this brave victim is closer to exposing which and how Catholic officials knowingly moved a dangerous predator priest, and we applaud him for preserving in his quest for truth.

It’s ironic that on the same day, the Pope tries to stifle open examination of church abuse cover ups while the US Supreme Court tries to enable open examination of church abuse cover ups.

(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 for 22 years and have more than 9,000 members. 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, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, [email protected]), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, [email protected])

Jun. 28, 2010 10:19 AM ET
Court lets Vatican-sex abuse lawsuit move forward

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court won't stop a lawsuit that accuses the Vatican of transferring a priest from city to city despite repeated accusations of sexual abuse.

The high court on Monday refused to hear an appeal from the Holy See, the legal name for the Vatican.

The Vatican wants the federal courts to throw out the lawsuit that seeks to hold the Roman Catholic Church responsible for moving the Rev. Andrew Ronan from Ireland to Chicago to Portland despite the sex abuse accusations.

Sovereign immunity laws hold that a sovereign state — including the Vatican — is generally immune from lawsuits.

But lower federal courts have ruled in this case that there could be an exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act that could affect the Vatican. A judge ruled there was enough of a connection between the Vatican and Ronan for him to be considered a Vatican employee under Oregon law, and that ruling was upheld by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Sacramento.

The case is Holy See v. John Doe, 09-1.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests