Another SNAP Leader Steps Down


Click here to read: “Barbara Blaine, leader of priest sex-abuse survivors group, steps down,” by Chicago Tribune Staff, Chicago Tribune, Sunday, February 5, 2017

Excerpt: Barbara Blaine, who also describes herself as a survivor, founded the group in Chicago nearly three decades ago. Her resignation, effective Friday, comes a week after SNAP announced the departure of its national director David Clohessy, effective Dec. 31, 2016.

Both were named in a lawsuit filed in Cook County last month by a former SNAP employee, accusing the leaders of referring potential clients to attorneys in return for financial kickbacks to the group.

But Blaine said her leaving had nothing to do with the suit and “no bearing” on her leaving.

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9 Responses to “Another SNAP Leader Steps Down”

  1. Hi Susan. I actually found out about Barbara Blaine’s departure of SNAP from The Media Report: http://www.themediareport.com/2017/02/04/snap-barbara-blaine-resigns/
    And I have to say, I don’t know what to feel about this. Having never been sexually abused by anyway – let alone a priest – I have no reason to have an opinion on SNAP. Certainly credit must be given where it is due. I know of one victim who got no support from any priests or nuns (guess they never met Thomas Doyle or Maureen Turlish – surely they would have helped this poor victim) but got plenty from SNAP. Then there’s the testimony of Charles Bailey, who comments on the link.
    On the other hand, they don’t seem to help falsely accused priests. There was one priest who was accused twice of abuse and got so fed up that he sued SNAP. If he was innocent – and he was certainly found not guilty – surely you can understand why.

  2. I am not surprised by either the resignation of David or Barbara. I believe their initial intentions were good. Unfortunately they fell victim to the media and attorney promises and their agenda became hijacked.
    This is a major problem in Pennsylvania where victims, survivors and advocates were sold a bill of goods in exchange for stories, media appearances and business through a law firm not even in Pennsylvania, all done for nothing. The challenges of getting a bill passed in Pennsylvania that can address past abuse cases should be first and foremost. We’ve lost many supporters because of the disgust with ego, agenda filled attorneys and now is when we need the supporters most.
    SNAP, Philadelphia Chapter included, has done nothing for victims and survivors in Pennsylvania so there is no love loss.
    Please contact you Senator in Pennsylvania and your State Representative, we want retroactivity put in the Senate Bill.

    • Mike: There are thousands and thousands of clergy sexual abuse survivors here in the United States and throughout the world. SNAP was certainly far from perfect in how it dealt with the crisis. But for much of the last thirty years, they have fought extremely hard for the voice of survivors to be heard. I thank David Clohessy and Barbara Blaine for the tireless work both have done on behalf of victims. Having said that, perhaps it is time for new leadership . I would imagine both are exhausted physically, emotionally, psychologically ad spiritually. I believe that it was Kathy Kaine who once said on this site that getting victims to agree on anything was like herding cats. Every one of us has our own unique story to tell and our own unique path to recovery. Many of us have different views on SNAP and their leaders. But they were there long before myself and others found our own voices.

      • And this absolves them, how? You could probably say they fought extremely hard for the victims who fit a certain profile. They paraded survivors in front of lawyers like a cattle auction at the Convention I attended. I believe that they have the right to be treated as innocent until proven guilty, but these allegations seem to fit in with what i observed and what other victims have shared with me over the years. The fact that they have been there long before many of us does not excuse them for leveraging survivors for their own monetary gain.

      • Jim I remember that cat herding comment too but it wasn’t from me.

        I have had a few communications with David and he was always very kind. We have had many comments on C4C about SNAP over the years and I believe the people who have had said they had a good expereince and I believe the people who have not had a good experience.
        I have always wondered how David and Barbara lasted so long working on this issue. I had a social work professor in college who always told us to make sure to change jobs every few years because this field (advocacy) burns people out very fast. We have had many survivors come and go over the years on C4C and when they came back they say that they had needed to take a break for a bit..which makes sense. I know people who are survivors who work on child abuse issues on a volunteer basis and they also have needed to “check out’ from time to time.
        Susan and I made the decision a long time ago to keep C4C as a forum and not a formal organization or non profit… there is no C4C fundraising, bank acccount or board of directors and that means no headaches or outside infleunces .

        • Kathy: I thought that “herding cats” comment was quite clever and right on the mark. Back in 1988 and 1989, when I first went to see a therapist, I saw an addictions counselor. A few years later, we met for breakfast, and he told me he had just gotten out of the hospital. He almost died from complications of stomach and intestinal problems. My guess is that the stress connected with his vocation went to his stomach. It has to be extremely difficult for people who hear horror stories every day, to compartmentalize their clients stress. As far as SNAP is concerned, I never had personal dealings with David or Barbara. I did have some correspondence with some others at SNAP and they were always cordial and supportive. Many of the people that attended Catholic Schools in the same era that I did say their experience was wonderful.MY experience was quite the opposite. Bill Donahue and David Pierre are figuratively jumping on SNAP’s grave, according to something I just read on “Abuse Tracker” .If they think, things can go back to where they were when priests were routinely molesting kids, they are sadly mistaken. With or without SNAP, we will continue to fight to keep children safe and to seek accountability from a Church who covered up for the abuse.

          • I don’t mean to be rude but why do so many victims have issues with Bill Donahue and David Pierre? They seem anti-pedophilia to me.

  3. It was probably a month or two after C4C was created that I found it online and began to post in it. I posted under the name of “Hadit”… as in “I’ve had it.” I was angry, frustrated, appalled, sickened, burned out, and tired of fighting a corrupt institution.

    As of today, March 1, Marie Collins (Irish sexual abuse survivor) has officially resigned from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Children. Why? She’s had it. She’s had it with the Commission putting forth recommendations that Pope Francis supports but, when they reach the Curia, meaning the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, they are tossed into the trash. To date, three years after the inception of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Children, it has resulted in NOTHING. Marie Collins has been used, abused and re-victimized. She’s had it.

    Who will respond to the re-victimization of Marie Collins?

    Cardinal Sean O’Malley should respond. Why hasn’t he had it?

    Pope Francis should respond. Why hasn’t he had it?

    Catholics should respond. Why haven’t they had it?

    Kate FitzGerald. Had it.

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