Nun Who Resigned in Protest of Clergy Sex Abuse Dies; SNAP Responds

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
May 19, 2008

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell)

We note with sadness the passing of Sister Catherine Mulkerrin, who in 1994, resigned her post under then-Boston Bishop John McCormack and then-Boston Cardinal Bernard Law over their callousness and secrecy regarding child sex crimes and cover ups. We applaud Sr. Mulkerrin's courage and compassion.

The church and our society would be far safer if other church employees had the strength and courage to step down in protest of the on-going misdeeds and deception by so many Catholic officials in sexual abuse cases.

According to David France's book, Our Fathers:

"She felt the church should actually go looking for victims of sexual abuse, by visiting each alleged perpetrator's past assignments and making formal announcements. At the very least, she said, notices should be placed in local parish bulletins where the priests had served - victims should be offered prayer and therapy without having to come and ask for it. This she felt was necessary to fulfill the spirit of the new (US Bishop Conference) policy, which called fror the church to 'deal as openly as possible with members of the community. 'In despair and frustration, she began secretively to refer callers to (attorney) Eric MacLeish's office, reasoning that civil litigation and public exposure offered more healing than the archdiocese was prepared to volunteer. But her defiance did little to assuage her conscience, and in 1994, after only two years on the job, Sister Mulkerrin resigned."

In a sworn deposition, she "said she and church leaders had by 1994 become aware of 100 alleged molesters and at least 200 victims," according to the Boston Herald.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the nation's oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We've been around for 17 years and have more than 8,000 members across the country. Despite the word "priest" in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is

Contact David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, 314-645-5915 home), Peter Isely (414-429-7259) Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688), Mary Grant (626-419-2930), Mark Serrano (703-727-4940)


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