Roster of Statements


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Victims respond to new policy by German Bishops

Statement by Barbara Blaine, SNAP President 312 399 4747

A lack of words on paper isn't causing this crisis and more words on paper won't fix it. For starters, every church official who ignored or concealed child sex crimes must be removed. Every proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting cleric must be exposed and suspended immediately. Unless and until those two steps are taken, everything else is window dressing.

This is part of the standard public relations playbook bishops use. For decades, nearly every diocese in which a major child sex abuse scandal has emerged has adopted or tweaked written policies. It rarely makes any real difference, other than mollifying some naive parishioners.

The problem isn't inadequate policies, it's a corrupt structure and system, in which bishops exercise virtually limitless power and are accountable to virtually no one.

Just months ago, Belgium's most powerful Catholic official tried hard to keep admitted child sex crimes by a bishop covered up. He tried to guilt-trip and sweet-talk a deeply wounded man to protect the church's image. No policy, regardless of what it says, would have prevented such wrong-doing or will prevent it in the future.

Real change will only happen when victims come forward, secular laws are reformed, prosecutors file charges, bishops are jailed, and Catholics donate elsewhere.

(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