Such was SNAP

While we abominate the abuse of children by anyone, and even more strongly abhor by clergy, I also scorn those who used the horrid scandal to tear at the fabric of the Church.

Such was the group SNAP.

I read now that their chief operatives have gone down in disgrace.

Catholic League HERE

I haven’t seen much coverage of the story at the National Schismatic Reporter (aka Fishwrap).  Could that be because their aims were the same?  Fishwrap will use any means to break down the Church’s institutions and doctrine.  Maybe they have covered it.  Maybe I’m wrong.

There is an interesting commentary on the SNAP development by Fr. Gordon Macrae, improperly accused and imprisoned.  He has a blog called These Stone Walls.   Macrae has quite a bit of information and analysis of the situation.

You might have a look.

The moderation queue is ON.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Clerical Sexual Abuse and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Kathleen10 says:

    It’s a good thing that these piranha are disintegrating. Just as you say Fr. Z., the group was not about the heinous sexual abuse of children, but about persecuting the Church.
    But too many people continue to identify this as a problem of pedophilia, when it is properly called a problem with homosexual predator priests. The John Jay Study, commissioned by the church, revealed that 81% of the victims of sexual abuse by priests over the last so many decades were males, typically post-adolescent males, between about 11 and 16. If we cannot even name the problem, we can certainly not take steps to correct it. By calling this problem “pedophilia”, we are side-stepping the big issue, that of the sexual orientation of priests. This is just one reason why a heterosexual orientation is critical for a sound and healthy priesthood and if we haven’t learned that, we are possibly too cowardly to ever come near to solving this problem. But first there must be the will to identify the problem and then do something about it. Boys and young men, older men too, suffer a lifetime of effects from such a devastating abuse as a sexual relationship with a priest. Many cannot just get on with their lives, and some commit suicide. I can never understand why this does not get properly identified and specific steps taken to stop the tide of abuse both presently and for the future, at the level of the seminary.

  2. robtbrown says:


    I can tell you from personal experience that the reason nothing was done about these situations in religious houses and seminaries is ideology. Priority was given to lax observance in houses-seminaries and combined with self-absorbed, sentimental liturgy. Sexual deviation was simply considered an unfortunate, secondary problem.

  3. Windswept House says:

    Forwarded various articles to the editor of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the city where attorney Jeff Anderson has his office. Considering how many articles they have published about sex abuse and the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis, thought they would be more than happy to go after this smelly mess. (not holding my breath)

  4. ChgoCatholic says:


  5. joekstl says:

    To Fr Z: if you want to see the National Catholic Reporter’s comments on the SNAP issue just google “ncroline snap” and you’ll find their coverage. As to the accusation of SNAP’s aim to “tear at the fabric of the Church” that was done long ago by so-called-shepherds of the Church who hid child sexual abuse of children by the clergy. Cardinal Law was the prime example of such “fabric rippers.” And when he left the Boston Archdiocese in disgrace and was named Archpriest of the prestigious St. Mary Major in Rome, that just rent the fabric of respect for the shepherds even further.
    I support SNAP regularly because they are performing a service that lay and clerical workers for the Church have ignored.

    The ongoing government investigations in Ireland and Australia don’t need SNAP at this point to make us work for a reform of existing episcopal personnel. Yes, priest abusers are being laicized – but their facilitators, Bishops, are rarely called to account.

    The current arguments on Amoris Latitia, pointing to doctrine on the indissoluability of marriage based on Jesus’ statements, pale in comparison to the only time (I think) where Jesus invokes the death penalty (a millstone around the neck) for those who abuse children.

    We as Chruch have failed in the protection of children. I support SNAP in their efforts to call our attention to child abuse and hope that our Church can respond accordingly. [Why am I not surprised that you support… that.]

  6. Kathleen10 says:

    robtbrown, I’m sure you are correct, and now, we are seeing the effects in many ways, none of it good. A wave has become a tsunami, and as with so many things, who pays the biggest price, little boys and young men. This should have been hit hard and with everything we have, multi-pronged and relentlessly, never easing up. Thus far there has been nothing one could call a serious effort. What will judgment day be like for those in a position to do something about this. Dreadful to consider.

  7. Cradle Catholic says:

    Father MacRae did a post about Cardinal Law on his blog TheseStoneWalls:
    There is no doubt that abuse took place, but if you make accusations just based on the media and on what SNAP says, both of them have an agenda against the Catholic Church, then you are not looking for justice and truth, but revenge.

    Here is what Sean Cameron, a commenter said in response to Fr. MacRae’s post- the link to which I provided above:
    Sean Cameron says
    November 22, 2015 at 1:58 PM

    I grew up in Boston, and I was a teenager in 2002 during the demise of Cardinal Law. I had a lot of anger towards him because of something that happened to a very close friend. My friend was a plaintiff with one of these lawyers you mentioned in a case against a priest. I believe that something happened, and I have always believed it. But I had a long talk with my friend about this article. He admitted to me that for him and many other accusers this was not about justice. It was about money. My friend told me that in meetings with these lawyers he was encouraged to exaggerate his story and add elements to it that were not true to make it more lucrative for a settlement. My friend says, today, that the lawyers knew all along that these claims were exaggerated and enhanced. Now that I have read this article, I am ashamed that I was even a small part of the campaign against Cardinal Law. Only a truly good man could endure all this and still have faith in God and in man. Forgive us, Father, for we did not know the evil that led us. That evil was greed.


    And here was Fr. McRae’s response:
    Father Gordon J MacRae says
    November 23, 2015 at 4:44 PM

    I want to thank our readers for all these wonderful comments. I can only ask that you share this post because doing so is a way to bring some small justice to a man who was gravely wronged throughout this process. I especially commend Sean for his candor and honesty. I have heard many versions of what he has conveyed, and I believe that he has captured the heart of the matter. This was about money, and I commend Sean for learning that lesson: that we cannot serve both God and money. May the Lord bless you and keep you, Sean and please, extend my blessing and prayer for healing to the friend who was so honest with you.

  8. hwriggles4 says:

    Since this saga began two weeks ago, I guess the major news outlets ignored it because several (particularly MSNBC) go out of the way to look for “dirt” on the Catholic Church.

    I don’t know how many times the Dallas Morning News ran stories about the bad behavior of a Catholic priest on the front page. If a Protestant minister, a sports coach, a babysitter, or a day care worker is accused of similar behavior, the newspaper buries the story on page 32 in the Tuesday edition – can you say “bias?”

    However, I do know that sadly, some of these abuse stories are true. Had a Scoutmaster in the early 1980s who ended up spending six years in jail for child molesting – at the time, he was the last person I thought would do this. About two years after his trial, a friend of mine told me that he and his brother were two of his victims (no laughing matter).

  9. jaykay says:

    joekstl: “The ongoing government investigations in Ireland and Australia…”

    Whatever about Australia, there is no ongoing government investigation in Ireland. The report of the relevant Commission was published in 2009, which dealt with abuses in institutional care homes largely, but not exclusively, run by the Churches, Catholic and Protestant.

  10. Kerry says:

    Does the abuse of young teens by priests justify kickbacks, lying and calumny?
    (Oh, I misread, I see we mean the Chruch. Whew! OK then.)

  11. dbrigtex17 says:

    SNAP = Satan Naturally Abhors Priests.

  12. joekstl says:

    Not sure what that is supposed to mean. But I have met ictims of child abuse by priests who’s parents reported it to the bishop and got nowhere. Only after enlisting the help of SNAP were the able to het an investigation that proved their case.

  13. benedetta says:

    In their corruption, SNAP failed children and families. It’s that simple. This group was never fit to advocate for victims. It’s a known fact that there are victims in many places they refused to assist because the established corruption loyalties came first. That’s so vile because they prey upon people very vulnerable and already victimized. I’m glad they are exposed for what they are. People here ought to be careful about posting propaganda in knee jerk reactionary fashion for an organization they “support” but truly know few accurate, true facts about just because they match their political activising. If there is one thing that the divisiveness of the last year has shown, it’s that good people should refrain from fanatical activising upon others in an inhumane fashion for its own sake. It’s done them, and the people they purport to advocate for, no help whatsoever.

  14. Grabski says:

    Joekstl. SNAP has just been outed as a money grab and you still support it? Change statutes of limitations, sue long dead priests.

    Yeah, ju$tice

  15. PapalCount says:

    What I find outrageous here is that it those who were abused in the first instance were seemingly abused again but by the very people who claimed to be acting in the victims best interest. They appear, from the employee’s lawsuit, to have lived off clergy abuse –after all if no abuse — then no lawsuits — no lawsuits then no cash flow….lets pray that the abuse continues… was that their thinking? Clerical sexual abuse is a monstrous sin. A great evil. But, to live off the avails of this evil and the misery it creates, as the lawsuit suggests, is very troubling and dark behavior indeed.

  16. robtbrown says:


    The problem of the priest scandals wasn’t that the abuse was hidden. It was possible to attend to the situations without making them public. In fact, the public revelations only began when a bishop refused appeals from the laity to act and when bishops discouraged any legal recourse.

    The failure was that nothing was done, and the perps (pervs) were simply moved to another assignment where they re-established their disgusting agenda, which ruined many lives. I know of two bishops, one now deceased, who acted very quickly at the first sign of scandal.

    I completely agree that bishops who ignored the problems and did nothing should have been prosecuted. I think, however, those in charge of formation should also have been investigated.

  17. The shame of SNAP is that the victims of, first, sexual abuse by clergy, and second, of bishops who failed to protect them, deserve to have advocates and help. Alas, SNAP failed them. I might add, I say this without regard to the most recent allegation against SNAP, which may prove to be unfounded; I base it on many other ways SNAP has gone astray. And, I want to add, I have no doubt about the sincerity of many people who have been involved with SNAP, and for all I know, the group has tried to do good. But in seeking justice for the victims, it lost sight of justice toward those it indiscriminately labeled perpetrators. In doing so, yet more were victimized.

  18. jarthurcrank says:

    I am shocked, shocked that SNAP would be the marketing and astroturf arm for trial lawyers. I am also shocked, shocked that the press took no interest into whether this was the case as it seemed obvious to me all along that this is what the organization basically was. Also, in addition to Father McRae, let us not forget that Paul Shanley – – a unsympathetic bad priest to be sure who was almost certainly an abuser himself – – was railroaded and convicted of charges that were based on recovered memories of rather preposterous scenarios. Anyone who cares about a well-functioning criminal justice system should be concerned about convictions in which the evidence could not reasonably meet the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard. But, the public and the press demanded scalps, so….

  19. catholictrad says:

    I agree that the guilty priests and bishops should be left penniless and imprisoned, if they had any personal property. I do not, however see the justice in taking offerings given for the Church’s use in worship and charity and doling it out to accusers and lawyers. That is only further injustice.

  20. Kathleen10 says:

    When a young boy or young man is corrupted by someone of the same sex, they are never the same. No amount of money can recover what they lost, or mitigate the damage done, even if they themselves don’t fully recognize it.

  21. AnnTherese says:

    If not giving a monetary settlement, what should the church do for victims?

  22. Grumpy Beggar says:

    . . . started doing a bit of reading after Father Z posted this topic, and almost immediately came upon a CNS article After SNAP president resigns, new generation of leadership eyed. I would question the wisdom there – given SNAP’s track record. SNAP don’t need new leadership – they need a new direction and a totally different approach.

    Furthermore, SNAP-friendly lawyers who previously fattened themselves on the settlements of survivors of (Catholic) clergy abuse will soon be emaciated – if that’s all they’re living off, and if current trends in the USA continue:

    While, (in my own limited opinion) some US Bishops and clergy still have considerable work to do in the area of protection, conservation and restoration of sacred liturgy – particularly in direct relation to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass , the USCCB absolutely nailed it in the domain of child and youth protection issues in their own, Catholic, back yard . . . Yes,they nailed it !

    The MSM has been one of SNAP’s trusted henchmen – blowing out of proportion ( they’re still doing it ) allegations being brought forth from 20 or more years ago by failing to report that the total cases they reported involved a lot of the same repeat-abusers. But already, in the year 2002 about the same time Cardinal Law was forced to resign, the USCCB had established the Dallas Charter – which came to be known as The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People , and which “directs action in all the following matters :

    -Creating a safe environment for children and young people;
    -Healing and reconciliation of victims and survivors;
    -Making prompt and effective response to allegations;
    -Cooperating with civil authorities;
    -Disciplining offenders;
    -Providing for means of accountability for the future to ensure the problem continues to be effectively dealt with through the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection and the National Review Board.

    The USCCB are still stressing that they must remain ever-vigilant, even though the 2015 Annual Report says that ,

    “Between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2015, a total of 26 allegations against clergy received were from current minors, of those, seven were substantiated. All allegations were reported to local civil authorities.”

    Now put that into perspective : In the USA (in 2014) there were roughly 36,900 Catholic priests and about 13,900 permanent deacons . . . only 26 allegations – seven of which were substantiated : Do the math guys.
    As the USCCB says, it’s working, but they need to remain vigilant.

    Here’s the link to the USCCB news page. Their link to the 2014-2015 Report in pdf format doesn’t work for some reason, but clicking here will bring you to the pdf.

    Nobody particularly likes to look at the sexual abuse of children – by clergy , or others , because, quite frankly , it’s ugly. But one needs to look at it to be able to admit and recognize the problem. So one might begrudgingly concede a marginal token of effectiveness in this sense to SNAP ; which would still be instantly eclipsed by their making a profit off the misfortune of others . . .nothing other than feigned help really.

    The USCCB , looked at the ugly problem and actually did something to fix it. SNAP , OTOH only took ugly and managed to make it uglier.

    We need to pray for those on the inside who betrayed our Holy Catholic Church and for those on the outside who attack Her.

    My brothers and sisters will please forgive my bluntness here, but in the final analysis, money doesn’t heal sh*t !

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