Clergy Abuse Group Expands in Area

By Kim Kozlowski
The Detroit News
July 29, 2003

DETROIT -- A national organization for victims of Catholic clergy abuse launched a support group Monday in Detroit, the only major city without one.

"It'll be nice to have a support group in our area where we can finally come together and share our hopes and our stories," Troy resident Rick Hogan, who was abused by three Capuchin priests while at a Wisconsin high school, said.

The group -- Survivors' Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) -- became a national voice for clergy abuse victims during the Catholic Church scandal last year. It pressured Catholic bishops to hold priests accountable and lobbied states to pass legislation, such as increasing the time limit when civil authorities can prosecute child molesters.

Founded by Barbara Blaine, who was abused in Toledo by a priest who was transferred to a Taylor parish in 1974, SNAP also provides victim support.

"Survivors who are out there can know that you have a safe place to come forward to find healing," Blaine said.

The Archdiocese of Detroit does not have any support groups for victims of clergy abuse, but it offers a victim assistant coordinator to point victims to therapeutic settings.

SNAP's first support group meeting will be held in 4-6 weeks. It plans to ask the archdiocese if it will publicize the meeting in all of its church bulletins. But spokesman Ned McGrath said the group has not yet contacted the archdiocese.

To reach SNAP, call (312) 399-4747 or visit http://www.snap

You can reach Kim Kozlowski at (313) 222-2024 or


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