Friday, February 10, 2017

Leading clergy abuse group to stay the course despite lawsuit, departures

Leading clergy abuse group to stay the course despite lawsuit, departures

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service
By David Gibson
(RNS) The head of a major advocacy group for children sexually abused by clergy said the organization will not change course despite the departure of its two founders and a lawsuit filed last month alleging SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, colluded with lawyers to refer clients and profit from settlements.
“We’re really not talking about anything changing,” said Mary Ellen Kruger, chair of the five-member board of directors of SNAP. “Our everyday mission is the same: helping survivors, protecting kids through education, and exposing predators. So that’s not changed.”
If anything, she said in a telephone interview from St. Louis, the organization is trying to build up its local chapters to strengthen its core mission as a support group for victims and their families.
Kruger said it also wants to continue to expand beyond its original focus on the Catholic Church (SNAP began nearly 30 years ago as a response to priest abuse cases) to include chapters with victims from other churches and religions.
“Being out there in the public is obviously not the greater part of what we do. It is part of it,” Kruger said.
But she added that the public advocacy that SNAP became known for, especially as the clergy abuse scandal snowballed after 2002, “is going to be determined by what’s going on in each city or what’s coming across the news.”