Not united on SNAP

Not united on SNAP

Like Voice of the Faithful, which claims to represent all lay Catholics, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests is a controversial group which claims to represent all those abused by priests. But some victims dispute the claim.

SNAP has become a public relations monster. Before the Scandal broke in 2002, it was 1,800 members, but only had an annual buddget of $2,000. After the Scandal broke, it has ballooned to 5,000 members, but now has $250,000 budget. It also acknowledges receiving tens of thousands of dollars from plaintiffs’ attorneys, who some victims claim won’t give you the time of day unless they can make money off your case. Of course the lawyers would give money to SNAP because the more publicity SNAP gets, the more victims come forward and the more big settlements the lawyers can demand.

It’s not all about the money either. Some victims claim SNAP is more interested in attacking the Catholic Church than helping victims of abuse.

Paul Schwartz, of Wichita, Kan., attended the group’s sessions until he realized they weren’t helping. “Every conversation I’ve ever had with SNAP is, ‘Oh, we’re going to bring (the church) down. How’s that going to help me?” said Schwartz. “The Catholic church did not cause my anger and rage, the abuse did. You’re allowing yourself to be victimized over and over again.”

Others say SNAP isn’t going far enough and want it to be more angry, more confrontational. Yeah, I’m sure most therapists would find that healthy, sure.

This is the dilemma of the Scandal. On the one hand, if it were not for groups with questionable agendas that nevertheless got the attention of the secular media, much of what’s come would have stayed hidden. Orthodox Catholics have been complaining about this stuff for years, but because we’re not seen as attacking the Church’s foundations, we weren’t given the time of day by the mainstream media. Still, we have to be careful not to let the ends justify the means. VOTF is definitely a bad means. SNAP is looking like bad means more and more every day.

The answer does not lie in rage or abandonment of the foundational elements of the Faith. Fidelity and truth with charity are the only way to purify the Church without destroying what makes her so important in the first place.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli