New Zealand Catholic Church Lacks Transparency In Denying Survivor Complaints

SNAP - Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests [Chicago IL]

February 26, 2023

By Christopher Longhurst

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) in Aotearoa says the Catholic Church in New Zealand is still failing to properly respond to credible allegations of clerical and religious child sexual abuse.

SNAP says no explanation is given to survivors on how decisions are made when their complaint is not accepted, nor what the standard of proof is for complaints to be credible. They also claim the decision process lacks transparency.

SNAP survivors say witnesses whom they nominated to obtain relative evidence were never contacted and supporting evidential information was never gathered by the church’s investigators.

SNAP believes an overly conservative and excessively high standard on the “balance of probabilities” is being applied to survivor evidence.

Survivors believe that this is deliberately done to ensure no compensation is paid, and the Church as an institution is protected.

This is despite Catholic Church leaders in New Zealand publicly apologizing to survivors, and claiming they would change their ways in how they respond to complaints of sexual abuse by clergy and religious of the Catholic Church in New Zealand.

SNAP says this is a denial of justice and a malpractice for which church leaders will someday be held to account.