Roster of Statements


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Monday, July 18, 2011

SNAP looks at possible Rigali replacements

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, president of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747, [email protected])

None of the men who are alleged to be candidates to fill Rigali's role in Philadelphia are much better on abuse and cover ups. Archbishop Wilton Gregory may be the best of a very sorry lot but he too has mishandled clergy sex cases. Archbishop Charles Chaput is the worst of the candidates.

--- In 2004, just two years after the Dallas bishops’ meeting, he was found in contempt of court for withholding evidence in a child sex abuse trial
--- Members of the bishops’ own hand-picked abuse panel said he was guilty of "backsliding" on many of the child safety measures in the 2002 Dallas Charter for the protection of Children and Young People. Board members also claim that they were intentionally manipulated by Gregory and other bishops.
--- Gregory was the face of the 2002 Dallas Charter, a charter that has been proven to be completely ineffective at protecting children. In fact, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia was found to be compliant in 2010, just months before the grand jury found 37 perpetrators in ministry.
--- He was accused of shielding and hiding a priest who had been accused of abuse and then refused a court order to turn over the secret records of that predator priest. The predator abused at least 5 kids, impregnating one of them.
--- In court testimony, Gregory claimed that as bishop of Belleville, he was "kept in the dark" about sex abuse happening under his watch.

--- He continually defended his predecessor, Bishop Anthony J. O'Connell, the former bishop of Knoxville, a self-admitted child predator.
--- He refused to remove photos and plaques dedicated to O'Connell in Diocese schools and buildings
--- He allowed a priest who has been indicted on seven felony charges sodomy to live in a parish for more than a year while and internal investigation was "pending"

- When a church employee complained about the priest living at her parish, she says she was fired for being a whistle blower


--- He has been accused of underreporting abuse in his diocese
--- He has attempted to sidestep the transparency of the court system by bullying victims into a church-run mediation. The mediation had no promises of discovery, disclosure, or public release of sex abuse cover-up documents

no promises of disclosure.
--- He fought against anti-crime legislation that would reform the statute of limitations for child sex offenders.
--- He has not confirmed whether or not he does background checks on priests in the archdiocese.

They don't to them on volunteers:

They do check on some international priests:

--- Because of anger at their exposure of child sex crimes and cover-up, Chaput held a childish and punitive six-year grudge against the New York Times, refusing to speak with reporters about sex abuse in his diocese and his Vatican-appointed investigation for serial predator Marcial Maciel

--- He let two priests, Rev. Stanley Koziol and the Rev. Gregory Smith, to work in the diocese even though both admitted that they molested children. Three other priests in the diocese hired attorneys to keep victims from accessing their secret personnel files. Those priests have never been publicly exposed.
--- In 2003, Lori kept Msgr. Martin Ryan in ministry, even though the diocese had settled a case with a 17-year-old girl that Ryan had allegedly molested. Lori called the claims "old" and said that the priest was not a threat to kids, even though there were two other complaints against Ryan by young teens.
--- Still troubling is how Lori handled the case of Michael Powell. Powell, who died in 2008 of brain cancer, had accused five men of sexually abusing him. Instead of investigating Powell's claims, Lori’s staff called the victim a liar and allowed a smear campaign against the dying man.

Powell has since been vindicated, as four of the five men he had accused had been arrested, removed, defrocked or publicly exposed as molesters. The diocese finally settled with Powell's family in 2011.

(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 23 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