Michael J. Bland, a psychologist with a doctorate in ministry, is clinical-pastoral coordinator for victim assistance ministry for the Archdiocese of Chicago and a clinical counselor at the Center for Psychological Services in Oak Lawn, Ill. The ex-Servite priest was on the 13-member board appointed by the U.S. Catholic bishops to investigate the sexual abuse crisis. He works nationally as a consultant to dioceses, religious communities and other church-related agencies and was, as a child, abused by a priest.
SNAP, or the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the foremost advocacy group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP has regional directors and local support groups. Contact President Barbara Blaine in Chicago.
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious is an association of leaders of Catholic women religious in the United States and represents U.S. nuns and sisters. While male clergy commit the vast majority of abuse cases, victims’ advocates say abuse by women religious is an overlooked problem. The LCWR is also based in Silver Spring, Md. Contact the director of communications, Sister Annmarie Sanders, IHM.
Voice of the Faithful is the leading grass-roots lay organization to emerge in the wake of the sexual abuse scandal. Based in Boston, the organization pushes for church governance reform and holding bishops accountable, and promotes victims rights. It has been critical of an effort to ban gay priests from ordination. Contact President Mark Mullaney.