Vatican re-affirms gay priest ban; Victims respond

For immediate release: Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, 314 645 5915 home, [email protected])

Vatican officials are re-affirming their so-called ban on gay priests.

Scapegoating some adults protects no children. Behavior, not orientation, is what matters.

Half of our 20,000 plus members are women who were sexually assaulted as kids by priests, nuns, bishops and seminarians. It’s just wrong to assume or claim that most victims of child molesting clerics are boys.

This will almost certainly have no impact whatsoever on the church’s continuing child sex abuse and cover up crisis. Those who hope this will make kids safer will be disappointed.

Priests who commit child sex crimes are still usually not reported to police. Bishops who conceal the crimes are rarely disciplined or demoted. As long as the Vatican tolerates or encourages this recklessness, children will not be safe.

Once again, there’s a vast gulf between a pope’s words and deeds. 

In the minds of many in the Catholic hierarchy, the wrong-headed list of alleged “causes” of this crisis is long: salacious journalists, gay priests, vengeful victims, greedy lawyers, ambitious prosecutors, hateful ex-Catholics, loose societal morals, etc. etc. etc. Priests assault kids and bishops tolerate this for one simple reason: because they can. Most predators aren’t caught. Most enablers aren’t punished. So the status quo continues largely unchanged.

No matter what church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in churches, schools or institutions – especially Catholic ones – to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 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 (+1 314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (+1 314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]) , Barbara Blaine (+1 312-399-4747 cell, [email protected]

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