Publicity Trumps Kids’ Safety: SNAP Knew About Abuse Claim Against Chicago Priest ‘For Several Weeks’ But Did Not Call Police; Instead It Held a Press Conference

Barbara Blaine : SNAP

Microphones before victims: SNAP founder and president Barbara Blaine

The anti-Catholic pressure group SNAP sets the bar very high in its purported quest to protect children from abuse – or it least when it comes to the Catholic Church.

In the past, SNAP's hysterical founder and president, Barbara Blaine, has said that it is "reckless" and "irresponsible" for Church officials to fail to call law enforcement and keep an accused cleric in ministry "even for one day" before calling police and yanking an accused cleric out of ministry.

But if nothing else, SNAP is rich in hypocrisy. So it should come as no surprise that, according to an Archdiocese of Chicago press release, SNAP did not call police or alert Church officials even though it knew "for several weeks" about a shocking sex abuse allegation against a Chicago priest.

Rather than acting according to its purported mission to protect children, the group instead held a press conference, strategically timed for a slow news day on the Monday after Easter. The conference was led by Blaine herself, who in the past has personally written a letter of support on behalf of a man arrested with over 100 images of kiddie porn on his computer.

Publicity first, safety of kids last

Blaine's latest publicity stunt only adds more evidence to the fact that SNAP is not really about protecting children but actually about pummeling the Catholic Church in order to advance its own political agenda.

Here we have Blaine not only not calling the police about an abuse allegation against a priest – and thereby "endangering children" by her own standards – but instead withholding information until she felt it was an opportune time to hold a press conference and generate some more free publicity for SNAP.

What's more: This is not the first time SNAP has pulled a stunt just like this. As we reported back in 2011, SNAP knew about a Los Angeles priest still in ministry who had been accused of an inappropriate relationship with a teenage girl back in the 1960s. But rather than immediately calling law enforcement or alerting the Church, it took its information to the New York Times, who then dutifully trumpeted a big story that was embarrassing to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

The time is long overdue for the media to reveal the truth about SNAP and its hypocrisy when it comes to reporting abuse. We especially call on Manya Brachear Pashman, religion reporter from the Chicago Tribune, who has regularly enabled SNAP by giving them free publicity.


  1. Publion says:

    In regard to the comment of the 16th at 1049: Doyle was “no big deal” compared to the Bishops who then recommended to the Nuncio who then formulated his own recommendations and then forwarded those to the Pope who made the actual choice.

    In regard to the comment of the 16th at 1033AM: What is “official reporting” is calling the police, just like – to use JR’s own image – “officially reporting” a fire means calling the Fire Department or pulling the hook on the firebox on the corner.

    And as we saw when all of this was discussed last summer here, all JR did was (allegedly) to “tell” the Dean a story; JR was willing to let it go at that, the people to whom he told his story figured (as the copies of their memos showed last summer) that the story merely amounted to a failing scholarship student trying to blame the problems on the teacher in whose class he wasn’t doing well, and they left it at that. At that point either JR or his parents should have called the police, but JR didn’t want to tell his parents and that was his choice. And he didn’t call the police himself and that was his choice.

    So: No, JR did not do “everything right”.

    And since the story still hasn’t been validated by anything we have seen here, then we also can’t say that the school staff did it wrong, especially for the 1960s.

    In regard to the comment of the 16th at 1046AM: I had merely submitted a possible reason why SNAP chose – as other organizations also chose – to distance themselves from JR. I don’t know – and didn’t say or imply that I did know – why SNAP has never bothered to engage JR. But I will say that the possibility I proposed is hardly improbable.

    Of what relevance Kissinger’s career is here is anybody’s guess. His point about the Iran-Iraq war is very apropos for the situation we are dealing with on this site. The attempt to evade that insight by trying to drag in Kissinger’s career and post-career status is merely plop-tossing and distraction from the key point.

    I said SNAP doesn’t want to get involved with anybody in discussions because it is a front for the torties and doesn’t want to risk exposure as such by engaging in uncontrolled public discussion. I didn’t at all say “SNAP doesn’t need to “ do so. Again, JR will create false quotations in order to have something to plop-toss about.

    But “down in the mud” with various self-styled  “activist victim” Abuseniks? Yes, I think that imagery covers the ground rather nicely.

    And thus: Yes, I think in this particular issue here I am  – as JR says – “batting 1000” or at least close to it.

    I have no idea what Jesus is doing at the moment, and does anyone imagine that JR actually does?

    • Jim Robertson says:

       If you get to imagine that Jesus exists; I get to imagine what he's up to.

      You brought Kissinger into the conversation. You don't like the truth about Kissinger being used against your argument by me TOO DAMNED BAD!

      [edited by moderator]

  2. Publion says:

    JR is welcome to imagine all he likes; the results can be filed with the rest of his imaginings, which constitute – one might well say  – the largest fraction of his material.

    In regard to Kissinger, it is not what I “don’t like” about Kissinger; it’s simply that his record is irrelevant to the point of the quote of his that I used. And thus that we are once again confronted with the cartoon thinking about i) reducing all differences of opinion to ‘like’ and ‘don’t like’ and ii) the irrelevant and distracting plop-tossing in order to avoid the conceptual core of comments.

    • Jim Robertson says:

      P, I wish your posts were on paper. I know, to what practical purpose, I would put such paper.

  3. Paul says:

    While many of the comments posted here are all over the place, the topic of the article is important. SNAP knew but did not report a supposed allegation for weks but choreographed the timing. Further, the claim is from someone who said he saw a priest abuse a child — but does not have the child's name, whereabouts or any information. In other words, there is no victim in his story and none has come forward. Meanwhile, the accuser refuses to give his name to the press of the Archdiocese. Victims have a right to privacy, but since this person was NOT a victim, why give him the time of day? If SNAP started with worthy goals, it has certainly lost its way….


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