SNAP’s 2015 Conference: A Few Remarks and Teasers


William D. Lindsey

One of the reasons I’ve been slow to post in the past several days, dear readers, is that I’ve been at the national meeting of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) in Alexandria, Virginia. Because I attended the meeting primarily to take part in the leaders’ gathering preceding the conference itself, I don’t have any kind of well-developed report of the conference to offer you. I didn’t attend a large number of presentations at the meeting.

At National Catholic Reporter’s website, Tom Fox has published the text of Tom Doyle’s address to the conference, which I didn’t hear (but have now read), and which is wonderful. It will give you a feel for the conference, I think, if you read it.

One of the experiences of this conference that I’ll treasure is having the opportunity to meet not only some of the national SNAP leaders about whom I’ve long read and whom I’ve long admired, but also members of the amazing Mennonite contingent who attended this conference. As any of you who have followed this blog for any length of time will know, I’ve featured the work of Ruth Krall and Stephanie Krehbiel here repeatedly. Both are Mennonite scholars involved in the discussion of sexual violence within their own religious community of origin, the Mennonite Church USA.

Ruth and Stephanie were at the conference, and I so much appreciate having had the opportunity to meet them and other Mennonite folks attending the conference (though I suspect that in giving Ruth a big goodbye hug yesterday, I thoughtlessly smashed her glasses against her face — and I cringe at the memory of my thoughtlessness). It may not be apparent to those of you who haven’t followed SNAP’s development what a big deal it is that SNAP now has a lively (and sizable) contingent of Mennonites involved in the organization’s work.

As many of you will know, SNAP began as something of a Catholic-specific organization. Its title indicates its early Catholic-specific focus: it’s a group that was started largely by people who had experienced sexual abuse by priests when they were minors (though there have been, from the beginning, also SNAP members whose abuse occurred at the hands of nuns).

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.