Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

2013 SNAP 25th Anniversary
View Slide Show

[Click on the BLUE headings/titles below to open the page with the information]

"Case Study 28, February 2016, Ballarat - Live hearing"

Australia & Rome, Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse [live stream] 

How to attend the Hearing

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse


Public Hearing Case Studies click here 


Issues Papers and Submissions here

SNAP Australia Submission
in response to
Issues Paper #6
For Commentary on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Australia) and Memorial coverage of Lewis Blayse.
 Click Here: LewisBlayse.net

'Sex crimes and the Catholic Church: Will a Parliamentary Inquiry and a Royal Commission deliver justice to victims, survivors and their families?' 

Judy Courtin presentation to
2013 Castan Centre Annual Conference

"Betrayal of Trust"
Victoria Parliament's 

"Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and Other Organisations"
Inquiry Report Summary
 13 Nov. 2013
To read the Committee's report click on
Exc Summary        Vol. 1        Vol. 2

NSW, Special Commission of Inquiry into matters relating to the Police investigation of certain child sexual abuse allegations in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle


SNAP Legal Action

For all things related to the
SNAP and Center for Constitutional Rights lawsuit filed against
the Pope and four
Vatican officers
violations of
human rights 

Video: Moves to Put the Pope in Court

Fighting for the Future

(UN filing on February 28, 2013)


If you or anyone you know has suffered abuse, call Lifeline.

TELE:     131 114

Where To Report Your Abuse

Victims' Stories (listen and read)

Public Awareness Presentations and Radio Interviews

Information and Support

Other Australian organisations concerned with child abuse prevention.


Partial List

PM Julia Gillard's full statement on the child sex abuse royal commission (with Q n A)

[click HERE for Transcript]

OPINION: Sex abuse survivors want to be believed

By Bob OToole and Lindsay Gardiner
April 2, 2013

Click "OPINION" to read Article

Call Of Duty

ABC Australian Story
April 29, 2013

The video story about  Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox; a man who was only doing his job.

Click "Call"  for story and video

Cops and Catholicism:  the cultural connection between police and the church

Download audio

ABC Radio - Andrew West        May 8, 2013

"George Pell and Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church"

Adelaide Festival of Ideas Forum [audio report], October 24, 2013

(9Jumpin's 60 Minutes videos)

The Paedophile Hunter ... May 24, 2015

Cardinal Pell ... May 31, 2015  ExtraMinutes | Peter Saunders

SPECIAL INVESTIGATION (pts 1, 2, & 3): Spies, Lords & Predators ... July 19, 2015

SNAP Stories

In honor of the 25th Anniversary of SNAP, during the 2014 National Conference Aug 1-3 StoryCorps reserved two full recording days for SNAP members to share their stories. We are so proud of the brave survivors who have made their stories available to you with the hope that those who have not yet found the courage, will be inspired to come forward.
Click HERE to listen to these stories.

'If you tell, you go to hell'



[Click on the BLUE heading above for
healines and news archives]

[Click on the BLUE story titles below to open the recent stories]

"Archbishop Philip Freier expresses solidarity with Newcastle Anglican Bishop Greg Thompson", NSW, Newcastle Herald, Joanne McCarthy, July 21, 2016.

"Bishop who was sexually abused as a teenager still has the portrait of the minister who molested him hanging in his church", NSW, Daily Mail, Steven Trask, July 21, 2016.

"Father of two victims gives evidence at Lismore priest trial", NSW, Northern Star, Leah White, July 21, 2016.

"Anglican Archbishop of Perth Roger Herft allegedly failed to report paedophile Peter Rushton to police", WA, ABC News, Anne Connolly, July 20, 2016.

"Paedophile ring inside Newcastle Anglican Church exposed by whistleblowers", NSW, ABC News, Anne Connolly, July 20, 2016.

"Should Derryn Hinch really be a senator?", Australia, The Age, Greg Barns, July 6, 2016.

"Take part in a new survey regarding access to support services", Australia, Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, March 31, 2016.

For more information and for the link to the survey, please see www.aifs.gov.au/survey-victims-survivors-and-parents-carers.

"Obama talks about “Spotlight” film", USA, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, David Clohessy, March 29, 2016.

We’re grateful that President Obama is drawing more attention to an award-winning film about journalism and the Catholic clergy sex abuse and cover up crisis. But it should be noted that neither he nor any other US official has taken a single step to deal with that continuing crisis. … We hope this changes soon. Specifically, we hope federal officials will launch a thorough investigation into this continuing crisis like the Australian government has.

"Pell account unbelievable: Abuse survivors", Rome, SBS AAP, March 1, 2016.

Child sex abuse survivors say it's unbelievable a man of Cardinal George Pell's intelligence was unaware of a pedophile priest's offending when two Victorian communities and local clergy knew about it. …

"Abuse responsibility not equal: Pell", Rome, SBS AAP, March 1, 2016.

"Pell 'not responsible' for diocese failure", Rome, news.com.au, March 1, 2016.

… Cardinal Pell, who was an adviser to the Ballarat bishop Ronald Mulkearns between 1977 and 1984, did not agree the church collectively failed to protect children in the diocese during the 1970s and 1980s. …

"Neil Mitchell slams George Pell's claim he wasn't interested in rumours of abuse [w/ audio report]”, Rome, 3AW, Heidi Murphy, March 1, 2016.

… "You're a man of God, pledging to care for people, and you hear stories that the local priest is molesting children, and it's not of much bloody interest to you? "I'm not surprised that they're angry. …

"Pell warned on culpability", Rome, news.com.au, March 1, 2016.

Cardinal George Pell has faced an ominous warning from the head of the child abuse royal commission, being told he would be culpable if it was found he knew about the acts of a pedophile priest in Ballarat in the 1970s. …

"Cardinal George Pell uninterested in Ridsdale sex claims, Royal Commission hears [w/ video]”, Rome, Sydney Morning Herald, Rachel Browne, March 1, 2016.

"Cardinal Pell's response to question about paedophile priest draws audible gasp – video", Rome, The Guardian, March 1, 2016.

"Bishop, priest 'lied', Pell tells hearing", Rome, 7 News AAP, March 1, 2016.

"Church gave paedophile free rein to abuse", Rome, The West Australian, Amanda Banks, March 1, 2016.

"Pell has 'full support' of the Pope at abuse inquiry", Rome, BBC News, March 1, 2016.

 "Cardinal George Pell says 'I have the full backing of the Pope' as testimony spotlight continues", Rome, ABC News, Lisa Millar , March 1, 2016.

"Cardinal Pell meets with Pope Francis ahead of second day of testimony at Royal Commission [w/ video]”, Rome, news.com.au, March 1, 2016.

"Cardinal George Pell: I have 'full backing' of Pope Francis [w/ video]", Rome, Sydney Morning Herald, Nick Miller, March 1, 2016.

"Cardinal meets with pope after dramatic abuse testimony", Rome, USA Today, Rosie Scammell, February 29, 2016.

"Australian Inquiry Puts a Top Aide to Pope on the Defensive [w video]”, Rome, New York Times, Elisabetta Povoledo, February 29, 2016.

"'It's a sad story and it wasn't of much interest to me': Cardinal George Pell's comments about a pedophile priest draws gasps from crowd in Rome at royal commission  [w/ photos and videos]”, Rome, Daily Mail AAP, February 29, 2016.

"Australian cardinal denies deflecting child sex abuse blame", Rome, Newsday, Rod McGuirk, February 29, 2016.

… Pell, now the pope's top financial adviser, told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that while Mulkearns and another priest at the regular committee meetings, Monsignor Leo Fiscalini, both knew about serious sexual assault allegations against notorious pedophile Gerald Ridsdale, neither mentioned them. …

"Top Vatican cardinal says senior clergy lied about child sexual abuse [w/ video]", Rome/Australia, Reuters, Philip Pullella and Jane Wardell, February 29, 2016.

… Pell's testimony to the Australian inquiry into sexual abuse cases that occurred decades ago has taken on wider implications about the accountability of church leaders given his high rank within the church. The cardinal told reporters as he arrived at Rome's Hotel Quirinale to give evidence that he had the full backing of Pope Francis. …

"George Pell: Parents of abused girls in Rome ahead of royal commission hearing [w/ audio report]”, Rome, ABC News, Lisa Millar, February 27, 2016.

… Anthony and Chrissie Foster were among the first of an estimated 20 people — including survivors, their families and counsellors — to travel from Australia to watch Cardinal Pell's testimony from a hotel. …

"Tim Minchin thanks supporters and lashes out at Cardinal Pell following", Australia, news.com.au, February 27, 2016.

… “I have great admiration for the survivors and their loved ones who have campaigned for years to have their voices heard. They have fought against a hugely wealthy institution that has a vested interest in quieting and discrediting them.” …

"Cardinal George Pell Set To Face Royal Commission In Rome", Rome, Huffington Post, February 27, 2016.

"Cardinal George Pell's church career", Australia, news.com.au AAP, February 27, 2016.

"George Pell: Parents of abused girls in Rome ahead of royal commission hearing [w/ audio report]”, Rome, ABC News, Lisa Millar, February 27, 2016.

… Anthony and Chrissie Foster were among the first of an estimated 20 people — including survivors, their families and counsellors — to travel from Australia to watch Cardinal Pell's testimony from a hotel. …

"Cops probed disgraced Tasmanian ex-priest", TAS, Mercury, Patrick Billings, February 26, 2016.

"What did George Pell know about these paedophiles when he was leading the Melbourne archdiocese?", Melbounre, Broken Rites, Broken Rites researcher, February 26, 2016.

"The point in the film Spotlight that had me in tears", NSW, Sydney Morning Herald, Joanne McCarthy, February 26, 2016.

"Church files searched after George Pell abuse claim", VIC, The Australian, Chip Le Grand, February 26, 2016.

… Victoria Police have searched church records kept by a parish in Melbourne’s west as part of an investigati­on into sex-abuse claims against cardinal George Pell dating back 55 years. …

"Former Catholic priest Robert Flaherty granted bail while he appeals 1970s and 1980s child sex convictions", NSW, ABC News, Stephanie Dalzell, February 26, 2016.

"Church wrong on abuse: Rome-bound victims", VIC, Herald Sun, February 26, 2016.

"Tim Minchin tells Cardinal George Pell to 'get on his knees' and wash child sex abuse survivors' feet as they fly to Rome to hear his testimony to the Royal Commission", Australia, Daily Mail, Matt Ogilvie, February 26, 2016.

"Tim Minchin says George Pell should wash feet of child sex abuse survivors", Australia, The Guardian, February 26, 2016.

"Spotlight victim says Vatican still failing", USA, Sky News (Australia), February 25, 2016.

"Cardinal Pell to give evidence from Hotel Quirinale in Rome", Australia & Rome, Royal Commission into Instituional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, February 23, 2016.

... In accordance with a request from Cardinal Pell, the hearing will commence at 8:00am AEDT (Australian Eastern Daylight Time) on Monday 29 February 2016, which is 10:00pm CET (Central European Time) on Sunday 28 February 2016. The hearing is expected to run for four hours per day, including a half-hour adjournment, for three to four days. ...

"George Pell to give evidence to child abuse royal commission from Rome's Hotel Quirinale", Australia/Rome, ABC News, February 23, 2016.

"Victims set to fly to Rome to face Pell", Australia/Rome, The Courier, February 22, 2016.

… Clergy abuse survivor David Ridsdale said the group of survivors and representatives from Ballarat planned to fly out of Australia on Friday evening. He said Cardinal Pell was the highest ranking Catholic in Australia and had intricate knowledge of the movements of paedophile priests who were shifted from parish to parish. …

"Cardinal George Pell: Child abuse royal commission trying to find location for survivors to hear testimony", Australia, ABC News, Sarah Farnsworth, February 22, 2016.

… He told the inquiry a suitable hotel room in central Rome had been located and tests would be carried out to ensure the hearing could be video linked back to Sydney. He added if that room was not suitable, another location would be found. …

"Abuse victims' request to hear Cardinal Pell's evidence in Rome a 'reasonable' request, Royal Commission says", Australia, 9 News AAP, February 22, 2016.

… A crowd funding campaign has raised more than $200,000 to send a group of clergy abuse survivors and support personnel to Rome to hear Cardinal Pell's testimony over three days from next Monday. …

"Commission says abuse victims will get to hear Cardinal George Pell give evidence from Roman hotel room", Australia, Sydney Morning Herald, Chris Johnston, February 22, 2016.

Clerical abuse survivors from Ballarat will be able to listen to Cardinal George Pell's evidence before a Royal Commission from a hotel room in Rome next week.

"George Pell evidence: royal commission says victims can be present in Rome", Australia, The Guardian, Melissa Davey, February 22, 2016.

  “The commission considers that to be a reasonable request. With the assistance of the Australian embassy in Rome we have located a room in a hotel in Central Rome which I am advised has the technical facilities to ensure an effective signal to Australia.” …

"Can Australian Catholicism Save Itself From Its Ultra-Conservative Forces?", Australia, New Matilda, Hugh Harris, February 22, 2016.

… The only certainty is that, regardless of the conclusion of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, or the outcome of police investigations, Pell will never face a punishment commensurate with his failures. …

"Christian Brother hugged after complaint", Australia, Courier Mail, February 21, 2016.

… Convicted pedophile Stephen Farrell has told the child abuse royal commission he was given a cuddle by Brother Paul Nangle after the 1970s St Patrick's Christian Brothers' superior received an abuse complaint involving Farrell and a year five student. …

"Collins: Abuse commission member's leave followed difficult discussions on group's purpose", Rome, National Catholic Reporter, Joshua J. McElwee, February 10, 2016.

… Marie Collins, an Irish abuse survivor who is one of the 17 members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, writes Wednesday in a statement for NCR that the leave of absence request arose after a "difference in understanding of the mission and the powers" of the group. The decision taken by the group, she states, was to ask fellow member Peter Saunders to "take leave of absence to decide how he could contribute to the Commission." …

"Vatican abuse commission member responds to leave of absence controversy [Viewpoint]”, Rome, Natonal Catholic Reporter, Marie Collins, February 9, 2016.

Editor's Note: Marie Collins is an Irish sexual abuse survivor and a member of Pope Francis' Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. She wrote the following statement for NCR following the commission's decision Saturday that fellow member Peter Saunders take a leave of absence from their work.

As a survivor of child clerical sexual abuse I spent many years silent, then many years speaking out to expose the way the Catholic Church had protected itself and abandoned children to the abusers in its midst. The anger I felt at the continuing reluctance by many Church leaders to report the perpetrators, to cooperate with civil authorities, to treat survivors with justice was overwhelming. …

"Catholic Bishop on trial for molesting boys", WA, The West Australian, Tim Clarke, February 8, 2016.

"Bishop's New Norcia child sex allegations a 'mistake', court hears", WA, WA Today, February 8, 2016.

"Former ADF Catholic bishop Max Davis 'abused boys under pretence of medical exam'", WA, ABC News, Pamela Medlen, February 8, 2016.

"Bishop's child sex offences a 'mistake'", WA, Sky News, February 8, 2016.

… Bishop Max Leroy Davis, 70, is charged with six counts of being grossly indecent with five boys under the age of 15 between December 1968 and October 1972 at St Benedict's College in New Norcia, northeast of Perth. …

"Sordid stories of child abuse undermine confidence in churches", Australia, Mercury, Rex Gardner, February 8, 2016.

… Their ongoing message — however meaningful — will simply bounce off people who have lost faith and trust. We’re not listening and believing the message any more, no matter what you say. …

"Sex Abuse Survivors Outraged As George Pell Remains In Rome", Australia, Huffington Post, Eoin Blackwell, February 8, 2016.

… Commission Chair, Justice Peter McClellan, said he accepted medical evidence there would be a risk to the 74-year-old's health if he is forced to fly to Australia to give evidence. …

"Vatican treasurer may front Australian abuse inquiry remotely – judge", Australia, Central Chronicle, February 8, 2016.

"George Pell to remain in Rome", Australia, The New Daily, Michelle Brown, February 8, 2016.

Cardinal George Pell has been excused from giving evidence in person to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

"Royal Commission: George Pell to give evidence by video link", Australia, Sydney Morning Herald,  Rachel Browne, February 8, 2016.

"George Pell excused from giving evidence at child abuse royal commission in person", Australia, ABC News, Michelle Brown, February 8, 2016.

"George Pell cleared to give sex abuse royal commission evidence by video link", Australia, The Guardian, Melissa Davey, February 8, 2016.

Australia’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, will give evidence about child sex abuse that occurred within his parishes via videolink following a ruling by the chair of the royal commission into institutional responses into child sexual abuse, Justice Peter McClellan. …

"George Pell: Royal commission into child sexual abuse to decide whether Cardinal can testify from Rome", VIC, ABC News, Charlotte King, February 8, 2016.

"British Catholic church child abuse campaigner demands meeting with Pope after his ousting", Rome, Telegraph (UK), Andrea Vogt, February 7, 2016.

… "The apparent attempt by the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors to eject an outspoken survivor raises serious doubts about its integrity and independence," Anne Barrett Doyle, co-founder of BishopAccountability.org said. ... “Someone in the commission said, ‘You know Rome wasn’t built in a day, don’t expect the church to change overnight’,” he said. “My response was, ‘It only takes a few seconds to rape a child and that child’s life is changed forever.’ We know abuse in the church is rampant. We need more action now.” …

"Vatican ‘corrupt’ says child protection commission member", Rome, Irish Times, Paddy Agnew, February 7, 2016.

UK child sex abuse lobbyist Peter Saunders, who was given a “leave of absence” from his role in the Holy See’s Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, has said that the “Vatican system” seems “essentially corrupt and unwilling to do the right thing”. …

"Chilean alleges sex abuse cover-up, asks pope to sack bishop", Vatican City, Daily Mail (UK), Philip Pullella, February 7, 2016.

… Juan Carlos Cruz delivered the letters with Peter Saunders, a prominent and outspoken British member of a papal advisory commission on sexual abuse by the clergy. Saunders on Saturday refused to step down despite a no-confidence vote, and said only the pope could dismiss him. The letters were left for Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston, the president of the commission, at a Rome guest house where the commission was meeting. O'Malley was asked to give them to the pope, Saunders and Cruz said. …

"Terminally ill bishop Ronald Mulkearns reportedly spotted walking around gardens", Victoria, The Courier, Melissa Cunningham, February 7, 2016.

… Recent photos believed to be of Bishop Mulkearns, show him walking around the gardens of a nursing home, using a walking frame and without any medical assistance. …

"Priest stood aside from ministry", Australia/Nigeria, Catholic Leader, February 7, 2016.

… The Archdiocese of Brisbane has confirmed that Fr Onuoha, the parish priest of Gatton-Laidley, was stood aside while in Nigeria on holidays. He will remain in Nigeria while the investigation into these allegations is conducted by an independent panel appointed by his Bishop. …

"Clergy abuse victims in limbo again", Australia, Newcastle Herald, Melissa Cunningahm, February 7, 2016.

Clergy abuse victims have been left reeling again with uncertainty surrounding whether Cardinal George Pell will appear at a child sex abuse inquiry in the city this month. … David Ridsdale, victim and nephew of disgraced priest Gerald Ridsdale, said there was a “mental health emergency” in Ballarat and victims had been thrown into limbo again, only adding to their turmoil. "If a fire ripped through Ballarat and burnt down 20 per cent of houses it would be deemed an emergency and a fund would be set up to help everybody involved,” he said. ...

"Critic of Vatican refuses to step down", Rome, Herald Sun (Australia), February 6, 2016.

"Critic of Vatican refuses to step down from sex abuse commission", Vatican City, Reuters, February 6, 2016.

"Vatican--Victims blast Vatican over papal panel's role", United States, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, February 6, 2016.

"Priest Abuse Victim Is Suspended From Vatican Panel", Rome, The New York Times, Elisabetta Povoledo and Laurie Goodstein, February 6, 2016.

… But the suspended commission member, Peter Saunders, said at a news conference in Rome on Saturday evening that he would stand his ground. “I have not left, and am not leaving my position on the commission,” Mr. Saunders said. “I was appointed by His Holiness Pope Francis, and I will talk only with him about my position.” …

"UPDATED: Papal Commission Asks British Survivor Member to Take Leave of Absence", Rome, America Magazine, Gerard O'Connell, February 6, 2016.

The commission set up by Pope Francis to advise him on the Protection of Children has “decided” that Mr. Peter Saunders (UK), one of the two survivors of sexual abuse on this body, should “take a leave of absence from his membership to consider how he might best support the commission’s work.” ...

"Sex abuse survivor on leave from Vatican panel", Rome, CNN, Ray Sanchez, February 6, 2016.

… But Peter Saunders, an outspoken critic of the papal commission, responded: "I have not left and I'm not leaving." Founder of the London-based National Association for People Abused in Childhood, Saunders told reporters, "I was appointed by His Holiness Pope Francis and I will only talk to him about my position." …

"Critic refuses to quit Vatican sex abuse commission", Vatican City, BBC News, February 6, 2016.

 [Peter Saunders statement - via BishopAccountability.org] … Responding to a Vatican statement about his leave of absence, Mr Saunders was quoted by Reuters as saying in Rome: "I was never told in advance of any such statement. "I find it outrageous that I was not told, much less that the statement occurred before I had had any time to reflect on what I might do next. "I have not left and I'm not leaving my position on the commission. I was appointed by His Holiness Pope Francis and I will only talk to him about my position." …

"Abuse survivor disputes removal from Vatican commission, seeks papal meeting", Rome, National Catholic Reporter, Joshua J. McElwee, February 6, 2016.

… "I have not left and I am not leaving my position on the commission," said British children's advocate Peter Saunders. "I was appointed by His Holiness Pope Francis and I will only talk to him about my position." …

"Vatican--Prominent survivor leaves papal panel; SNAP responds", United States, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, February 6, 2016.

"Press Conference: Statement Prior to Questions", Rome, BishopAccountability.org, Peter Saunders (Member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors), February 6, 2016.

"Sex Abuse Survivor Takes Leave Of Absence From Vatican Commission On Protecting Survivors", Vatican City, International Business Times, Ismat Sarah Mangla, February 6, 2016.

… at a meeting on Saturday, "it was decided that Mr. Peter Saunders would take a leave of absence from his membership to consider how he might best support the commission's work," the Vatican said. As a result, only one abuse survivor, Marie Collins, is still on the panel. …

"Pope's sex abuse panel tells abuse survivor to take a leave", Vatican City, Orange County Register, Nicole Winfield, February 6, 2016.

Pope Francis’ sex abuse advisory committee voted Saturday to sideline one of its members, a high-profile abuse survivor who had clashed with the commission over its mission. Peter Saunders, a British advocate for victims, had been highly critical of the Vatican’s slow progress in taking measures to protect children and punish bishops who covered up for pedophile priests. … The head of the commission, Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley, said after Saturday’s vote that Saunders had been asked to consider forming an external group of survivors to help advise the commission.

"Sex abuse survivor removed from Vatican panel", Vatican City, Deutsche Welle, February 6, 2016.

"Critic of Vatican leaves its sexual abuse commission", Vatican City, Reuters, February 6, 2016.

... A statement said that at a commission meeting "it was decided" that Peter Saunders would take a leave of absence. Saunders, head of Britain's National Association for People Abused in Childhood, would now "consider how he might best support the commission's work".  ... .

"Vatican--Prominent survivor leaves papal panel; SNAP responds", United States, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, February 6, 2016.

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, davidgclohessy@gmail.com) [USA Today]

"British victim steps down from Vatican inquiry into clerical sex abuse", Vatican City, The Guardian, Rosie Scammell, February 6, 2016.

"Pope's Sex Abuse Panel Tells Survivor to Take a Time-Out", Vatican City, New York Times, February 6, 2016.

… Peter Saunders, a British advocate for victims, had been highly critical of the Vatican's slow pace of progress in taking measures to protect children and punish bishops who covered up for pedophile priests. He had also wanted the commission to intervene immediately in individual cases, rather than just craft long-term policies to fight abuse. … He said the Vatican's inaction in the face of continuing cases of children being raped and molested "made me lose faith in the process and lose faith in Pope Francis."

"Sex Abuse Survivor Leaves Vatican Commission", Vatican City, Sky News, February 6, 2016.

… Mr Saunders made headlines last year when he said that Australian Cardinal George Pell should be dismissed over claims he failed to take action to protect children years ago. …

"High-Profile Advocate Takes Leave From Papal Commission On Sex Abuse", Vatican City, NPR, Camila Domonoske, February 6, 2016.

"Abuse survivor no longer working with Vatican commission", Rome, National Catholic Reporter, Joshua J. McElwee, February 6, 2016.

"Child abuse campaigner handpicked by the Pope to head up commission into paedophile priests suddenly leaves the Vatican 24 hours after warning the pontiff he has to do more to tackle the issue", Vatican City, Daily Mail (UK), Katie Louise Davies, February 6, 2016.

"British member of Vatican sexual abuse commission leaves", Vatican City, Channel News Asia, February 6, 2016.

… Last year, Saunders made waves when he said that Australian Cardinal George Pell should be dismissed over allegations he failed to take action to protect children years ago.. Pell is now the Vatican's economic minister. …

"Campaigner issues warning to Pope Francis ahead of abuse commission meeting", Rome, Premier, Aaron James, February 5, 2016.

… Peter Saunders, who is one the members of the Holy See's Clerical Abuse Commission, was speaking before it hosted a three-day event to review the Catholic Church's safeguarding policies and the punishments in place for those who break the rules, or covered up for those who do. Mr Saunders told The Times: "It will be outrageous if he doesn't attend and I will say so." …

"Members of the pope’s abuse commission watch ‘Spotlight’ movie", Rome, Crux, Inés San Martín, February 5, 2016.

… Peter Saunders, a British member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors led by Boston Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, told Crux that some members watched the film Thursday night at the Domus Santa Marta, the hotel on Vatican grounds where the pope lives. Francis was not present. …

"On The Eve Of Clerical Sex Abuse Commission Meeting, The Vatican Held A Screening Of ‘Spotlight’", United States, Think Progress, Jessica Goldstein February 5, 2016.

Spotlight, a Best Picture contender at the Oscars, is a gripping exploration of how reporters at the Boston Globe revealed rampant sexual abuse among priests in Boston and the lengths to which the clergy went to keep those crimes under-wraps. …

"Abuse survivor on Vatican panel criticises Francis for not joining meetings", Vatican City, Catholic Herald (UK), February 5, 2016.

… Peter Saunders, who was abused by a priest as a child, had been handpicked by the Pope to serve on a Vatican sex abuse commission in 2014. But he told the Times this week that he had asked the Pope to appear at a three-day meeting of the commission, which starts today, to defend his record. … The Pope set up the commission with promises to clean up the Church after a decade-long sex abuse scandal that uncovered abuse by priests of minors in several countries. Last year he created a new tribunal that punished bishops for covering up. …

"Vatican Commission on Sex Abuse Holds Private ‘Spotlight’ Screening", Rome, Hollywood Reporter, Ariston Anderson, February 5, 2016.

… A new commission at the Vatican to combat sex abuse within the Catholic Church kicked off Thursday with a private screening of the Oscar-nominated film Spotlight, a searing look into the journalists who uncovered the abuses that persisted for decades within the Boston Catholic Church. …

"Pope's commission to protect children watch Oscar-nominated Spotlight", Rome, The Guardian (UK), Stephanie Kirchgaessner, February 4, 2016.

The members of Pope Francis’s commission to protect children have seen the Oscar-nominated film Spotlight together amid criticism that the pontiff needs to follow through on his promise of “zero tolerance” for clerical sex abuse and cover-ups. …

"Vatican panel kicks off meeting on sexual abuse by watching 'Spotlight'", Rome, Los Angeles Times, Tom Kington, February 4, 2016.

… The extraordinary screening was held on the eve of a three-day meeting by the commission, and was shown in the same church residence in central Rome where Francis — then Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio — stayed before his election as pope in 2013. …

"New film, "Spotlight": How a U.S. newspaper exposed the church's child-abuse, like Australia's Broken Rites did", Australia, Broken Rites, January 22, 2016.

In 1993, Broken Rites Australia began researching — and exposing — the Catholic Church's sex-abuse cover-ups throughout Australia. Ten years later, in 2002 and 2003, the Boston Globe newspaper revealed similar cover-ups in the United States, Now, people can see the Boston story told in a major film, Spotlight, which is being released in Australian cinemas on 28 January 2016. …

"Spotlight: a brilliant film with such explosive subject matter it died several deaths before being made", Sydney, Sydney Morning Herald, Stephanie Bunbury, January 22, 2016.

"Spotlight review: Restrained, realistic view of investigative reporting provokes cold fury", Sydney, Sydney Morning Herald, Paul Byrnes, January 20, 2016.

“Spotlight: Exclusive screening plus Q&A with Nick McKenzie and Richard Baker”, Melbourne, The Age, January 12, 2016.

Where: Kino Cinema, Melbourne,When: 6:30pm, January 19th, 2016,  Buy Now: Click here to buy tickets


Welcome to SNAPAustralia.org 
( Created by and for survivors of sexual abuse by clergy )


We  invite clergy abuse victims, family members of victims, and supporters  of victims to be involved and to join SNAP.
Joining SNAP is free and completely confidential. We never sell nor share our membership list with anyone.
We are also looking for survivors to start SNAP chapters.  Chapter leaders must be able to conduct a monthly self-help support group meeting in their local area and promote the missions of SNAP.

Barbara Dorris, or 
Steven Spaner
for details.

Essay by Tom Doyle

Before Spotlight - Some Background Memories

Catholic Whistleblowers

Est. May 24, 2013

About Catholic Whistleblowers

List of Catholic Whistleblowers

This site is all about the TRUTH
...and there is plenty of it, so
We try very hard to always update and post items on this web site, with complete integrity.

We realize it takes a lot of courage to reach out for help, and we thank you for visiting our site. We also realize this trauma reaches family members and those who are concerned and frustrated about the sex abuse crisis within the religious community.

This web site is a place to find information about our SNAP support meetings in your local area, plus we are constantly updating news stories and information about clergy who have been publicly accused of sex abuse within the Australian dioceses.  Our goal is survivor support, public education, and protection of kids.

We also plan to post survivor video stories. Sometimes it helps to listen to these stories to better understand the trauma and life pain of  those who have been harmed by clergy and those who are related to these survivors: family and friends.

We post on this site many links to other self help groups and information to support victims. As SNAP Australia identifies State and major city SNAP leaders, their email addresses and phone numbers will be posted for you. If you need general help and support, please feel free to contact Barbara Dorris, or Steven Spaner, USA SNAP  leader contacts for Australians.
  SNAP leaders know that the principle wish of every survivor is healing and the desire to see that their experiences never happen to another child, young person, or vulnerable adult.

You, who are survivors of sex abuse did NOT deserve this, did NOT ask for this to happen to you, and it was NOT your fault. There is healing when you are able to speak up and get this burden off your shoulders, and free from your heart. ... give it to the universe to carry for a while.... Just maybe, your life will be much more at peace.

Our ultimate goal is to open up the secrets, stop the silence, support those who have already been harmed, and thereby protect children.

Thank you for making the decision to visit our SNAPAustralia.org web site.

"The Role of Church Law in the Child Abuse Issue: Help or Hindrance"

Catholics For Renewal. VIC, YouTube, October 29, 2014.

Part 1 - Speaker, Kieran Tapsell

Part 2 - Responder, Professor Ian 

(ABC 4 Corners videos)

May 27, 1996

Twice Betrayed-Part1

Twice Betrayed-Part2

Twice Betrayed-Part3

Twice Betrayed-Part4

The Homies August 18, 2003

Unholy Silence August 24, 2012

Cult of Horrors July 28, 2014

In the Name of the Law  August 12, 2014

Click the story title to view video

Secrets of the Vatican

PBS Frontline Video
February 25, 2014


BBC Panorama Report

14 Septemeber 2010


The CNN Report

25 September 2010

The Oprah Show

200 Adult Men Who Were Molested Come Forward: Full Episode

January 31, 2013 Interview with Peter Isely, SNAP founding member, advocate of the 200 abused men, and clergy abuse survivor himself.

Male Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse Share Their Stories

Pedophiles and Impunity

[9 part documentary]

John Wojnowski

Haunted by his sexual abuse as a child, he has stood outside the Washington, DC Vatican embassy nearly every day since April 1998. His lonely vigil has made him a hero to victims of sexual abuse worldwide.
“Pope Protester: 17-Year Fight Against Child Sex Abuse [video]”, Washington, DC, CNS Maryland, September 22, 2015.
Tell John of your appreciation, just click on John's name above.


This web site is managed and maintained by Steven Spaner, SNAP Australia Coordinator and SNAPAustralia.org webmaster.
Send corrections, additions, and private comments by clicking on webmaster's name.
Please put in the subject line: Attn. SNAPAustralia.org Webmaster