SNAP playing for the media in front of a church near you this weekend

SNAP playing for the media in front of a church near you this weekend

I’ve just received notice that SNAP (Survivor’s Network of those Abused by Priests) is planning a publicity stunt this weekend in front of churches, cathedrals, and chanceries this weekend to mark 5 years since the Boston Globe started unraveling the Scandal in Boston. For SNAP it’s obviously all about the media (from their email announcement):

A series of small 1/2 hour vigils in cities across the country on one day

Sunday, Jan. 7th. (The first Globe story ran on the 6th, but this year, the 6th is a Saturday, and for a variety of reasons, Sunday’s a much better day for media coverage.)

(If Sunday absolutely does NOT work for you, Saturday’s OK too.)

Generally, late morning/early afternoon is ideal, at or shortly after 11:00 a.m. local time. Any time before 8 p.m. is OK though.

(If you’re inviting others to join you - and we hope you’ll do that - you should just pick the time when more people are available.)

There are three possibilities, listed here in order of our preference (designed, largely, to increase chances of media coverage).

First, outside a Catholic cathedral.

Second, outside a Catholic church as close as possible to a downtown area. (This minimizes travel time for media, which is important on a weekend where most outlets have skeletal crews working)

Third, outside a chancery office.

Their hope, as they outline in their email, is to get the reporters to accost Catholics coming out of Mass: “A vigil can, and should be, very simple: basically a couple of people standing on a sidewalk. They can hold signs, childhood photos, and/or candles. Frankly, it’s not so important WHAT actually happens. What matters is that SOMETHING happens, in a large number of cities on the same day with the same general theme. That’s what will bring the media attention.”

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  • Their hope, as they outline in their email, is to get the reporters to accost Catholics coming out of Mass:

    This is odd. In Boston, the timetable for the event is 1:30 PM, which seems to mark the beginning of a parade of sorts. What doesn’t make sense is that the Mass (which starts at 11:30 AM) will be long over by then.

    Wait, here’s something from “Voice of the Faithful ™”

    VOTF will also be partnering with the Survivor’s Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) in sponsoring a number of other events around the country. Among these will be:

    1. Boston MA – A SOLIDARITY MARCH will commence at 1:30 PM from the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, 1350 Washington St. Boston, to the New England School of Law, 154 Stuart St. Boston,
    At 2:00 p.m., outside the law school, the new “Comprehensive Protection from Childhood Sexual Abuse Act of 2007” will be unveiled and discussed.
    At 2:30 p.m., inside the law school, a panel moderated by Ann Hagan Webb, Snap’s New England Coordinator, will include
    -David Clohessy of St. Louis, who has for 16 years directed SNAP, the nation’s largest and oldest self-help group for clergy molestation victims,
    -Susan Renehan, abuse survivor, activist and co-chair of the Coalition to Reform Sex Abuse Laws in Massachusetts
    – Boston attorney Carmen Durso, who represents abuse victims and has spearheaded efforts on Beacon Hill to reform Massachusetts’ laws regarding sexual abuse.
    – Award-winning journalist Kathy Shaw, who has for years maintained a daily blog called “Abused Tracker” which compiles media accounts of clergy sex cases across the world. Shaw covered the crisis for years as a reporter with the Worchester Telegram.
    – Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who also represents abuse victims and whose lawsuits on behalf of boys molested by Fr. John Geoghan helped spark the Boston Globe series that, in turn, lead to a wave of similar revelations across the nation.

    For more information about the above event please contact Ann Hagan Webb at 781-239-1182 or Paul Kellen at 781 395 3682

  • Good For Them!  Granted, they can’t possibly compete with the Church’s PR, uh, “working girls”, but they could at least try.

  • FWIW, they were in front of the Basilica of Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in D.C. this weekend.