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SNAP leaders sought to squelch publicity on support for doctor in child-porn case

Catholic World News - May 31, 2013

The founder and president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) wrote a letter in favor of a Louisiana psychologist who was facing charges for child pornography, and urged SNAP members not to answer questions about the episode, The Media Report has disclosed.

In 2009, Barbara Blaine, the SNAP leader wrote to the Louisiana Board of Medical Examiners on behalf of Dr. Steve Taylor, urging the board not to suspend his medical license. Taylor eventually pleaded guilty to child-porn charges and was jailed; his medical license was suspended.

While Blaine’s involvement in the case has come to light in 2011, The Media Report has uncovered an internal SNAP memo from 2012, explaining Blaine’s support for Taylor and encouraging SNAP chapter leaders not to discuss the case. The SNAP memo tells members of the group that if questions about the Taylor case, “we’d recommend that you not respond.” The memo asks SNAP chapter officials to read and return the document, guarding against public disclosure.

Blaine came to Taylor’s defense, the memo says, at the request of Taylor’s wife, who had been prominent volunteer for a local SNAP chapter. The SNAP memo emphasizes that Blaine did not attempt to defend Taylor against the child-porn charges, but only said that his medical license should not be suspended until the criminal charges against him were resolved.

Blaine’s involvement in the Taylor case is nevertheless highly embarrassing to SNAP, since the group has constantly pressed for aggressive disciplinary action against Catholic priests accused of sexual abuse. “As best we can tell, we’ve ever [sic] advocated that an accused wrongdoer lose his professional or work license based on an allegation,” the SNAP memo says. But SNAP has harshly criticized Catholic bishops for failing to disclose the names of priests who have been accused of abuse, even in cases when dioceses have found the accusations unwarranted, and the group has pressed for suspension of priests who are accused.

SNAP's suggestion that chapters should refuse to respond to questions about the incident also undermines the credibility of a group that has demanded open disclosure from Catholic dioceses about sex-abuse incidents.

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Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: polish.pinecone4371 - Jun. 01, 2013 4:47 PM ET USA

    Well, it obviously worked. I haven't seen any stories on it, have you?

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - May. 31, 2013 7:07 PM ET USA

    I have never seen any direct evidence that SNAP is anything other than a plaintiff's lawyer front group.

  • Posted by: rpp - May. 31, 2013 4:44 PM ET USA

    In the minds of most well-informed Catholics (admittedly a small minority) SNAP lost its credibility years ago. Here is yet another example that SNAP is more about their anti-Catholic bias than about helping victims and seeking justice for perpetrators.

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