On the site of First Things there is a good article about SNAP (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests) by Russell E. Saltzman, mission development pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Gothenburg, Nebraska.
Saltzman writes with my emphases:
I no longer believe the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) is in any way primarily an advocacy organization for sexual abuse victims. Instead, I think it is more a noisy little group that hates the Roman Catholic Church and has discovered a way of making a living off the victimization others have suffered. My poor opinion of SNAP was formed some time ago, but the organization returned to my attention as I’ve followed the most recent scandal unfolding in the Kansas City–St. Joseph diocese.
As regular readers know, I am a Lutheran with no axe to grind against the Roman Catholic Church, not even on the subject of priestly sex abuse involving adolescent boys. We Lutherans have our own sex scandals though they rarely make the press because they usually involve a male pastor and a female parishioner. Ho-hum, some might say. Even the rare incidents involving young boys get passed over because headlines about Lutheran pastors aren’t nearly as invitingly lurid as “pedophile priests.”
SNAP has never to my knowledge examined scandals among mental health professionals. It never says anything of public school districts, where reports say children are at far greater risk of abuse. Nor has it said anything of volunteer youth organizations. The simple fact is SNAP targets Roman Catholics. If SNAP routinely seeks “donations” from settlements, well, Catholic pockets are easier to reach, for a lot of reasons starting with media bias.
Whatever genuine aid SNAP may provide victims of priestly sex abuse is well matched by the harm SNAP does by mounting little less than an anti-Catholic smear campaign and wantonly portraying every priest as a sexual predator waiting to happen and every bishop an enabler.
There are resource links at the end of the article. Go there to find the links but here are the names:
- Lutheran sex abuse in Texas
- Forum Letter
- Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph
- SNAP IRS 990 2009 Filing [PDF]
- Better Business Bureau Charity Review
Read the whole article over there. It is well worth it. Interesting things about SNAP’s finances, too.