Roster of Statements


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Victims comment on new Savannah bishop

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

We do not know Bishop-elect Gregory Hartmayer, but we are encouraged whenever a priest, instead of a chancery office insider, is promoted.

However, we caution Catholics and citizens against complacency. Often parishioners and the public assume that a new bishop will better protect kids' safety than the retiring bishop. That's a reckless assumption -- complacency protects no one.

Everyone should withhold judgment about Savannah's new bishop until he proves, by his actions, that he is working to safeguard the vulnerable and heal the wounded.

We urge everyone who sees, suspects or suffers clergy sex crimes or misdeeds to step forward and contact secular authorities, not church authorities.

(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])

Pope names new bishop for Savannah

By Shelia M. Poole

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

12:20 p.m. Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI has named a new bishop to the Diocese of Savannah.

The Rev. Gregory John Hartmayer, 59, a priest in the Archdiocese of Atlanta, will succeed Bishop J. Kevin Boland, 76, who recently resigned.

The bishop-elect's ordination will take place at 2 p.m. Oct. 18 at the Cathedral of John the Baptist in Savannah.

Boland, becomes bishop emeritus, until Hartmayer's ordination. His most recent appointment was as pastor of St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Lithia Springs.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests