Roster of Statements


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New bishops' policy is backwards

Statement by Barbara Dorris, SNAP Outreach Director (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell)

The policy is backwards. It largely implies that clergy sex crimes and cover ups are past tense. They are not. Any bishop's first job must be to stop and prevent current and future child sex crimes.

This is a substantially weaker version of the very weak and only sporadically enforced US bishops' policy. It essentially keeps all of the power and discretion with the same bishops and church structure that has, for decades, ignored and concealed and enabled the horrific assaults on thousands of kids, and still does. There's no pledge of openness or any guarantees that predators will be exposed or suspended from ministry. It's window dressing, nothing more.

Under 'publicity,' there's not even a mention of transparency. The policy calls on church officials to warn one another when transferring a predator but not the public or the parishioners.

Again, the crux of the crisis is that bishops can and do ignore church guidelines essentially because they can do so with no fear of discipline or penalty. That's what enables clergy sex crimes and cover ups. That isn't changing with this new policy.

(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 10,000 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]), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, [email protected]), Joelle Casteix (949 322 7434 cell, [email protected])

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests