The founder of a prominent advocacy group for children sexually abused by Catholic priests has resigned, the second major departure in the wake of a lawsuit filed last month by a former employee alleging that the organization colluded with lawyers to refer clients and profit from settlements.
In an email to supporters Barbara Blaine said her decision to leave SNAP, which stands for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, had nothing to do with the legal action.
“(P)lease know that the recent lawsuit filed against SNAP, as the others in the past which have no merit, had absolutely no bearing on my leaving,” Blaine, herself a victim of clergy abuse as a child who started SNAP 29 years ago, said in an email sent on Saturday (Feb. 4). “The discussions and process of my departure has been ongoing.”
Blaine’s resignation was effective a day earlier, on Feb. 3.
The surprise announcement comes less than two weeks after David Clohessy, SNAP’s executive director and also a fixture in the organization for nearly 30 years, announced he too was leaving.
Clohessy and SNAP officials had also insisted that his departure had been in the works for months and had nothing to do with the lawsuit, filed in Illinois on Jan. 17.
The lawsuit by Gretchen Rachel Hammond names Blaine, Clohessy and other SNAP leaders as defendants and alleges that “SNAP does not focus on protecting or helping survivors – it exploits them.”
Full story from Crux.