Survivors, lay leaders help archdiocese hear victims, assist in healing


January 30, 2019

By Maria Wiering

Frank Meuers and Tim O’Malley meet every month or so, often for breakfast, to talk about the Catholic Church and clergy sex abuse.

Meuers is the southwest Minnesota chapter director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP, and O’Malley directs the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis’ Office of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment.

Since its founding, SNAP has often positioned itself as an adversary of the institutional church, which is why these meetings – and the men’s resulting collegiality – is so extraordinary. Meuers said he knows of no other SNAP leader with a similar relationship to a church official.

Meuers, 79, is one of more than a dozen clergy sexual abuse survivors in regular – sometimes daily – contact with O’Malley and his office. O’Malley looks to them for advice and insight into improving and expanding the archdiocese’s outreach to survivors, and he expects that collaboration will broaden and deepen now that the archdiocese’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case is complete.

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