Roster of Statements


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Wednesday, December 8, 2010

$1 in punitive damages levied vs. Catholic parish, SNAP responds

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, [email protected])

The jury clearly felt that they had already, with their earlier verdict of $30 million, sent a sufficiently strong signal. We disagree. Catholic officials have paid even more in other clergy sex abuse and cover up cases, and then continued “business as usual” endangering kids, deceiving parishioners, and protecting shrewd predators instead of innocent children.

What matters most here, however, is that considerable evidence of complicity by top church staff surfaced through the justice system. Delaware Catholics and citizens now have an even better understanding of just how callous, reckless and deceitful the church hierarchy is. We are very grateful to John Vai for helping to expose, and hopefully deter, horrific wrong-doing.

(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, [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])

Jury awards punitive damages in priest abuse case

Updated at 05:06 PM today

DOVER, Del. (AP) - December 8, 2010 -- A jury has assessed punitive damages of one dollar against a Catholic parish in Wilmington in a priest child sex abuse case.

But the jury on Wednesday returned a punitive damage award of $30 million against former priest Francis DeLuca.

The jury last week found that St. Elizabeth's parish was negligent in not preventing DeLuca from sexually abusing John Vai (vye) in the 1960s. It awarded Vai $30 million in compensatory damages, with St. Elizabeth's responsible for $3 million of that amount.

On Wednesday, the jury found that St. Elizabeth's showed reckless disregard in not preventing DeLuca from abusing Vai and other boys, but it awarded only token punitive damages after witnesses said a big award could devastate the parish.

(Copyright ©2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests