SNAP Leader Sees Progress in Church's Abuse Response, but Not Enough

Catholic News Sevice [Washington DC]
Downloaded May 12, 2003

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- David Clohessy, executive director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, acknowledged definite progress over the past 16 months in the U.S. bishops' response to the clergy sexual abuse crisis, but said much more still needs to be done. One of the most difficult things SNAP faces in dealing with issues of church policy and practice, he said, is finding the "fine line" between recognizing a positive action when it occurs and at the same time insisting that it is not enough. "I know we have erred in walking this terrible tightrope between providing a voice for our members and being critical of the hierarchy," he said May 7 in an interview with Catholic News Service during a visit to Washington. He said SNAP knows it cannot get a serious hearing "if you're 100 percent unequivocally critical" all the time, but whenever SNAP leaders make a positive comment about a bishop's decision or new diocesan policy they can expect to get calls and e-mails from survivors complaining that they're being too charitable or selling out.


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