Roster of Statements


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Monday, March 14, 2011

Catholic defendants in court today: 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])

We're grateful for each step that brings us closer to safety, healing, and closure. We applaud the extraordinarily brave individuals who, despite their horrific pain and betrayal, are strong and compassionate enough to help law enforcement pursue these awful wrongdoers.

It's tragic, of course, that so few child molesting clerics and complicit church supervisors ever see the inside of a courtroom. And it's tragic that these credibly accused wrongdoers have evaded justice for so many years.

We hope that all parties involved will do everything possible to bring these cases to a resolution as soon as possible without undue delays. That's what these victims deserve. That's what children need. That's what Catholics and citizens want. And that's what real justice requires.

We would never, in any way, minimize the crimes of child molesting clerics. However, we are livid when some minimize the crimes of complicit church supervisors. To many of us, Msgr. Lynn is as, or more, morally culpable than the three others who are accused of sexually assaulting kids. By repeatedly and callously deceiving others, hiding crimes and protecting abusers, Lynn has, as the grand jury pointed out, deliberately put hundreds or thousands of kids directly in harm's way.

Now is no time for complacency. A charge is not a conviction. It's important to remember that often, predator priests get top notch defense lawyers who exploit every possible legal maneuver and technicality to keep sex offenders out of jail. Often, pedophile priests succeed in 'getting off on a technicality' or, if convicted, getting very lenient sentences.

And often, when criminal charges are filed against Catholic officials, others who saw, suspected or suffered their crimes stay silent, assuming that the clerics will be found guilty and imprisoned. Later, they are consumed with guilt when the offenders walk free, wishing they had found the courage earlier to speak up and help police and prosecutors.

So we beg anyone with information or suspicions about the crimes of these four to step forward, call police, expose wrongdoers, protect kids, and start healing.

(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])

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests