Catholic League president Bill Donohue responds to the full-page ad placed by the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) in today’s New York Times:
Instead of looking at the positive reforms made by the U.S. bishops over the last decade, the professional victims’ lobby SNAP is rehashing its age-old claim that there is an ongoing abuse crisis in the Catholic Church. Never mind that in the last three years, an average of seven new credible accusations were made against over 40,000 priests in this country. Indeed, 99.98% of Catholic priests did not have a credible accusation made against them last year.
The John Jay College of Criminal Justice issued its Causes and Context study last year that found the abuse scandal ran from the mid-60s to the mid-80s, peaking in the 70s. After it was published, I issued a report analyzing the study [click here]. Since the end of the scandal, the Church has reformed its policies and curbed the problem, thus becoming a model of how to protect children.
Don’t let SNAP’s ad fool you. While they purport to be concerned with the safety of children, their real agenda is to sunder the Catholic Church. Last year its annual conference turned into a Church-bashing event. How do we know this? We had trusted sources attend and fill us in on the rhetoric [click here to see our report].
Earlier this year, SNAP’s director David Clohessy, was deposed regarding his role in priest abuse cases and what was disclosed was truly revealing [click here to see our report]. SNAP, the bastion of child protection, contributed $593 in 2007 to “survivor support,” yet spent $92,000 the following year on travel. Clohessy even admitted to giving false statements to the press—so why would anyone believe what he is bandying about in today’s Times?
Where today’s scandal truly lies—and one that SNAP is partly responsible for—is the false accusations made against many priests. SNAP’s attempt to resurrect itself by cashing in on old problems will fail. Indeed, they have disgraced themselves again.