Update on Catholic Leaders’ Attack on SNAP in Missouri (with a Glance at Philadelphia)

National Catholic Reporter

William D. Lindsey

It has been a while since I’ve offered readers an update of what’s being done to the victim advocacy group Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) in Missouri. As I noted last month (and here), SNAP is facing unprecedented challenges in Kansas City and St. Louis as attorneys working for the Catholic hierarchy play hardball legal games with the group, demanding that it disclose private communications that have nothing to do with the cases for which these disclosures are being demanded.

SNAP had predicted that the time and money required to defend itself against these tactics would have a negative impact on the operation of the origination–in fact, SNAP leaders have stated that this appears to be precisely the goal of the Catholic officials using the legal system to attack SNAP in this way. And as Joshua McElwee reports at National Catholic Reporter last week, that’s exactly what’s happening.

The demands made by attorneys in Missouri are having serious financial implications for SNAP, as its leaders now spend large portions of their time seeking to deal with those demands. And the demands continue to proliferate: attorneys making the initial demands for depositions have just made new filings seeking more depositions and refuting SNAP’s claim that its confidentiality should be respected, since it functions in a way akin to a rape-crisis center.

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