Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on remarks made by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP):
If there is one thing that the leaders of SNAP have had in common over the years, it is their propensity to lie. Barbara Dorris, its leader by default, added to the litany of lies when she told a dissident, and sympathetic, Catholic source that SNAP did not make false allegations against Fr. Joseph Jiang, a St. Louis priest who was falsely accused of sexual abuse.
On November 27, the Archdiocese of St. Louis issued a news release titled, “SNAP Apologizes to Archdiocese and Falsely Accused Priest.” The SNAP apology was extended to Fr. Jiang, St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson, the late Msgr. Joseph Pins, and the Archdiocese of St. Louis. It was part of a settlement with SNAP in a defamation lawsuit filed by Fr. Jiang in 2015.
In its settlement apology, SNAP said it “apologizes for any false or inaccurate statements related to the complaints against Fr. Joseph Jiang that it or its representatives made which in any way disparaged” the aforementioned principals to whom the apology was extended.
When asked about this Dorris proved to be as disingenuous as she is dishonest. “It is an apology if we made a false allegation….And right now, I’d say none of them have been proven to be false.” Perhaps she needs someone to interpret the apology that her organization made.
Last year, when a federal judge hammered SNAP for defaming Fr. Jiang, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch laid out the particulars. U.S. District Court Judge Carol E. Jackson plainly said that SNAP’s public statements “were false and that they did not conduct any inquiry into the truth or falsity of these public statements, but instead made these statements negligently and with reckless disregard for the truth.”
As expected, the New York Times, which has been giving SNAP every benefit of the doubt for decades, did not run a story on SNAP’s settlement or apology.
The Catholic League has led the fight against SNAP for as long as the New York Times has been covering up for it. We are delighted with the outcome. SNAP continues to lose, both in court and in the court of public opinion. Meanwhile, we are stronger than ever.
We are happy that Fr. Jiang has been vindicated. We extend our congratulations to him and to his stellar boss, Archbishop Carlson.