SNAP on the Father Ronan Case

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
March 3, 2009

[the court decision]

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP Founder and President, 312-399-4747

(Today a three judge Federal Appeals panel in Portland, OR ruled that John Doe's sex abuse and cover-up case versus Father Andrew Ronan and the Vatican can proceed.)

We applaud this sound ruling and this brave victim. Nothing else has forced Catholic officials to reform their secretive, reckless and callous decades old patterns in child sex abuse and cover-up cases. Despite hundreds of criminal prosecutions, thousands of civil lawsuits, tens of thousands of news accounts and hundreds of thousands of victims, bishops continue to put their reputations above children's safety and protect secrets and predators, not parishioners and children.

This is one key hurdle in a long process and we know that the Vatican defense lawyers will keep fighting tooth and nail for years to prevent the Pope and his colleagues from having to face tough questions under oath about how much they knew and little they did to stop child molesting clerics. We hope this decision will prod others who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes into coming forward, getting help, calling police, reporting predators and safeguarding kids.

(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 20 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


David Clohessy, SNAP National Director 314-566-9790

Barbara Dorris, SNAP Outreach Director 314-862-7688


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