Roster of Statements


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ex-Belgian church leader urges more openness; Sex abuse victims respond

Statement by Lieve Halsberghe, SNAP Belgium Leader, +32 475 910 918 [email protected]

It’s disingenuous to call for openness while keeping secrets. That’s what Danneels is doing.

If he genuinely wants his colleagues to be more open, he needs to lead the way. We challenge him to publicly disclose what he knows about clergy sex crimes and cover ups right now. For decades, he’s been an ‘insider’ in the Belgian church. There may be no other person in the Catholic hierarchy who knows more than Danneels does about abuse. So instead of telling others what to do, he needs to take his own advice and “come clean” now, so that kids are safer and so that victims can heal

(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])

Ex-Belgian church leader urges more openness


BRUSSELS (AP) — The former leader of the Catholic Church in Belgium is calling for more openness and transparency within the church to make sure that child abuse scandals by priests do not happen again.

Cardinal Godfried Danneels told a parliamentary inquiry panel on Tuesday that power often made the church aloof to the abuse problem and the needs of the victims.

This year, hundreds of sex abuse victims have come forward in Belgium with harrowing accounts of molestation by Catholic clergy over decades. The abuse reportedly led to at least 13 suicides and affected children as young as two.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests