STTOP - Speak Truth TO Power!



Click to read our open letter to Bishop W. Gregory

Click for Legislation Changes Proposed by Attorney Carmen Durso

Text of Speech at Worcester Demonstration - February 2, 2003

Activism in Your Town!

'Survivors' Lullaby'

Some of the "Sidewalk Protesters" in front of the Cathedral in Boston

New Hampshire Protest

Call for Law to resign

Protesting in New Hampshire

We will not be silenced!

More New Hampshire protests

Protesting in Maine

A bumper sticker for New Hampshire

Protests seen around the world!

Contributions are welcome and can be sent by check or money order to

P.O. Box 610156
Newton, MA 02461

Donations will be used for signs, banners, buttons, leaflets, and other materials used to promote our cause to hold the bishops accountable and seek justice for the victims. We also have given scholarships to survivors wanting to attend SNAP conferences and have sent many donations to the survivors in Haiti.


The Phil Saviano Memorial

20th Anniversary Conference:

Pivot to the Future

SATURDAY, June 4, 2022

In-person and remote (ZOOM)

Calling survivors, supporters, and all who seek justice.

A day of presentations, panels, discussion, fellowship, and looking ahead.

  • Marci Hamilton (CHILD USA)
  • Robert Hoatson
  • Mitchell Garabedian
  • Ann Hagan Webb
  • Kathy Dwyer
  • Anne Barrett Doyle
  • Terry McKiernan
  • David Clohessy
  • Tom Doyle

Conference organizers wish to recognize the generosity and support of Mitchell Garabedian.

Marriott Boston-Quincy Hotel

1000 Marriott Dr, Quincy, MA 02169

Nestled on the bluffs above the Braintree Split.

  • Convenient access from Logan and public transportation (Red Line).
  • Ample parking.
  • Open and airy conference space with breakout spaces.
  • Masks are required.
  • Box lunches served to registered attendees.

Registration required for both in-person ($20) and ZOOM (free) attendees.

Contact Ruth at

Additional donations will assist those who may not be able to afford the conference. No one will be turned away!


Sttop was formed in response to the January 2002 revelations of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. One survivor, Kathy Dwyer, recently explained what our weekly vigils have meant to her saying that we have been

"Making visible what was invisible...
Giving voice to what was silent...
Bearing witness where there was none."

Please click here STTOP or scroll down for more information about what we do.

November 9, 2014
A Note From the Sidewalk Protesters:


The day was perfect for outdoor activity including our weekly vigil at the Cathedral. A Gentleman stopped by and thanked us for being there each week for the past 12 plus years and expressed his amazement at our commitment to continue to occupy the sidewalk each Sunday. He mentioned that he lived in Boston, was a therapist and worked with survivors of clergy abuse. On a past vacation trip to Rome he recalled that he stopped by St. Mary Major Basilica and left a message for Law stating "he hoped Law believed in hell because that's where he was going".

Warm Regars to all!

STTOP and Friends


Sunday Morning at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston, Ma

On the far right is the recently released names of newly named perpertrators.





Twelve years after large numbers of survivors of sexual abuse by priests publicly came forward, and decades after other survivors and Father Tom Doyle came forward, the United Nations, in early February of 2014, released a critical report on the Vatican's behavior regarding sexual abuse by clergy. This report, like so many others, clearly states how the church for decades has denied, covered-up, protected abusers and reabused victims. Hopefully, this report will help to bring more people to consciousness regarding the lack of accountability and change by this corrupt institution. Unfortuntely, it has only brought more of the same from the hierarchy of the church as they immediately began to deny, rationalize, blame and minimize all that was reported.

And so, we continue to stand in vigil and protest each Sunday. We do it to support survivors and to let people know that while what the church says may have changed the behavior the church does has not and our children are really no safer now than when the adult survivors were abused.

Come join us any Sunday at 11AM at the Cathedral of Holy Cross, Washington Street , Boston, MA





Join us tomorrow for a demonstration on the sidewalk outside the
8:00 AM until the breakfast in over!

This is where Cardinal Sean O'Malley will be hosting a breakfast for Massachusetts legislators

We will make known to those attending that legislators need to call for a vote on House Bill 1455 and Senate Bill 633, not only because childhood sexual abuse victims should get their day in court but indeed, so that our laws better reflect the horror and life long legacy that victims suffer.

If you can, bring
a sign that says "Pass House 1455 and Senate 633" or whatever way you decide that message might get through to them. For example how about "Have breakfast with us and we will tell you why calling for a vote is so important!" The more signs the better!


Another year of protesting the RED MASS
September 29, 2013

Sttop protesters interviewed by the Irish Central Newspaper

Lawyers and Judges and other folks, since the 13th century, have been attending a yearly "Red Mass" offered by the catholic church in order to bless them and instruct them to perform their duties with "integrity". Think the church might need some instructions on that one.




On August 26, 2013 those members of STTOP that were able attended what has become a yearly tradition of gathering in support, celebration and love. The spirit, commitment and love of those not able to attend was recognized, honored and celebrated by us all as we lunched at the Nantasket Resort Hotel and returned to Ruth's beautiful home to celebrate the August birthdays of Rosemary, Steve and Lucia. I think the pictures below say it all....


At lunch...

On Ruth's deck...

The birthday cake beyond all birthday cakes...


August 11, 2013 @ the Cathedral in Boston

Pictured above: STTOP members at the cathedral of the Holy Cross Boston:
(L to R:) Ruth, Paul, Steve (who just turned 80) and Rosemary (our Lady of the Lawn Chair who is now 85+) have been there since the beginning. Week after week, month after month and year after year these members of STTOP and many others not in this picture, stand in solidarity with surivors calling for accountabiity and change in the catholic church. You can find them Sundays at about 11AM at the cathedral in Boston and/or other places across the state, country or world. On the right is Kathy, a survivor who has also been a STTOP member since the beginning. For the last few years she has up-dated our site and demonstrated when she can.

Pictured above on July 21, 2013: Robert, a survivor and STTOP member from the beginning, stopped by to stand with us this morning. He is pictured at the end right. Other regular "sidewalkers" today included, Left to Right: Bob, Eileen, Stan, Ken, Steve. Not in the photo because she took it was our wonderful Ruth!


Pictured above: July 14, 2013: Ruth took this picture and reports that "we had many questions to answer this morning at the cathedral". Pictured L to R are Rosemary, Paul, Bob and Steve. Other two people had stopped to ask questions.



On Sunday, May 20, 2012 STTOP and other friends gathered at the cathedral of the Holy Cross to protest Boston Cardinal O'Malley's paying of high priced lobbyist to prevent the Statute of Limitations on sex crimes against children from passing. His and the Catholic Church's hypocrisy of saying one thing (i.e., we are about protecting the children) and doing another thing must not be tolerated and must be made visible.
Below are some pictures from that protest and recent others as well.

Mother's Day 2012 @ the Cathedral

5/27/2012 @ the Cathedral

Protesting @ St. Brendan's; Dorchester, MA 4/23/2012




The conference/celebration was wonderful and inspiring. Our speakers, performers and those who attended truly made this weekend a special moment in time. STTOP was honored to be a sponsor and we thought you might like to see the ad we placed in the program book.

Rosemary is well into her eighth decade and continues to stand with the sidewalk protesters as weather and her health permit. She was at the confernece all weekend including Sunday at the cathedral.



November 27, 2011 with the Mt Carmel School LA poster

May 2011

June 2011


The Ballad of Cardinal Bernard Law
By Daniel Thomas Moran

The clergy had never seen before,
The likes of Cardinal Bernard Law.
Who got his red robes all in a ruffle,
From dancing the pederasty shfuffle.

Who informed the pastors he employs,
To dispactch those whining little boys.
And for the priests who loved their vice,
He'd send them someplace safe and nice.

The flodd of misery had come in tiny drops.
Until...Beat it! Someone's called the cops!
His Holiness caused but a small commotion,
When he surprised Law with a nice promotion.

Hidden far from justice behind the Vatican wall,
The Archbishop made a long distance call.
This disease really does not need a cure,
From intentions that were only pure,

Of this, my flock, you can be sure.
No one shall ever be above the Law.



Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests

Road to Recovery

Repeal of the
Statute of Limitation

Persons Against Ritual Abuse

CCS - Coalition of Catholics and Survivors

To contact one of our coordinators click a link below:

Female Survivor

Female Supporter

Male Supporter


Solidarity March

Somber Protesting

Generations protest together

Maybe the bull horns will let you hear us!

The Women Speak!

Protesting with artwork

And the crime is Rape!

Support the repeal of the Statute of Limitations on sex crimes in your area!

We have learned much these past years and we look up to and stand with those who came before and those here now who refuse to be silent!

10th Anniversary Conference
January 6 - 8, 2012

Our Lady of the Lawn Chair

STTOP...Speak Truth to Power!

Working to shatter the silence and end the secrecy
that has for centuries
nurtured and perpetuated the
sexual, spiritual and ritual abuse of children, women and men
by priests and members of the Catholic Church hierarchy.


In January of 2002 The Boston Globe published its' first article about priest sexual abuse in the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. That article led to countless revelations about priests who were molesters not only in Boston but in other states and countries as well and resulted in the discovery of systemic conspiracy and cover up by the bishops, cardinals and popes of the Catholic Church.

To say it was a difficult time here in Boston would be a huge understatement. Day after day the media was filled with more revelations about the horrors of being sexually abused by someone you were taught was next to God and who you must respect, trust and obey . Day after day victims who had never before told anyone that they had been sexually abused by a priest were coming forward and speaking their truth to those who would listen telling them that the same priest who may have comforted others in sorrow and celebrated with others in joy, was at the same time, sexually abusing them in the rectory, the church or any other place he could find. And finally, when tens of thousands of church documents were released and made public as a result of court orders, the denial of a few good Catholics finally began to disintegrate leaving in its' ashes feelings of betrayal, outrage and sorrow.

It was from those ashes that early in 2002 STTOP was born for the purpose of supporting survivors and demanding responsibility and accountability from the Catholic Church. Since we first came together, STTOP has been one of the lead organizers of countless demonstrations, protests and vigils including Solidarity marches, Red Mass Protests and weekly Sunday protests at various churches and cathedrals throughout the country. Carrying signs calling for resignations, responsibility and accountability initially we were met with anger, threats and reprimands such as when a parishioner scolded us for demonstrating during Lent but quickly disappeared when a survivor responded "...but they raped me during Lent".

In time the initial anger we were first met with began to lessen, especially in those places where we demonstrated often and/or where we carried pictures of adult survivors as children, many of whom were dressed in Holy Communion dresses or suits. Indeed, in time some parishioners would thank us for being there and tell us to keep up the "good work". But of all the reactions and responses we have received over the years none has made what we do more worthwhile than when someone comes to us and quietly tells us that they too had been sexually abused by a priest as a child. Such was the case of an older man, well into his seventies who looked as devout as any Catholic could look leaving Mass. As he walked towards us none of us were quite sure whether he was going to yell, spit or ignore us. As he slowly approached our place on the sidewalk, he began to cry and in seconds was being held as he told us that between the ages of 8 and 10 he too had been sexually abused by a priest and up until this moment, he had never told anyone. More than his tears rained on the sidewalk that day...and I believe more than our spirits received a little additional healing as well.

And so, we continue to demonstrate and demand accountability. It's been awhile since we have used the bullhorns, but our message and philosophy remains loud and clear...strong and consistent. We demand accountability...we demand resignations of corrupt bishops and cardinals...we refuse to allow the sexual abuse of children and adults to be swept into invisibility... we recognize and honor the right of each individual to speak from her/his heart...we will not forget what has, is and will continue to happen unless accountability and meaningful change takes place in both the religious and secular communities. This web site is an extension of our commitment and a record of what we have done, what we are doing and what actions are being planned. We hope that you will click on the links and that you find the resources, transcripts of speeches and pictures of some of the "Action for Changes" we have co-sponsored and participated in helpful. We welcome your comments and wish each of you support as you do the work you have been called to do. Thank you again for visiting our site!


Bishops in all areas of the country are guilty of conspiracy in the criminal sexual abuse of children and adults. According to"Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes", the recently published book by Doyle, Sipe and Wall, sixteen U.S. bishops have also been publicly named as sexual abusers.   (see page 60). Furthermore, the number of priest who sexually abuse children and adults is estimated to be in the thousands. And still, after all that has been revealed, the hierarchy of the Church continues to refuse to inform the appropriate authorities of the names and whereabouts of those who have been accused.

We say STTOP!

STTOP the abuse and conspiracy...
STTOP the silence...
STTOP the secrecy...
START working with your legislators...
START working with advocacy groups...
START speaking up and speaking out...

JOIN US NOW as we and many others continue to support survivors and to work towards creating a more safe, sacred and secure society for all children and adults.


We are called the "Sidewalk Protesters" and consist of women and men who share a common goal of holding the hierarchy of the Catholic Church responsible and accountable for the sexual, ritual and spiritual abuse and betrayal of countless children, women and men.

We are survivors of sexual abuse and others who have been painfully affected by the betrayal, cover-up and perpetuation of sexual abuse by those who demanded we trust, follow and obey them.


We speak publicly against sexual abuse by priests and other members of the Catholic Church.

We speak against the past, present and on going silence and collusion by the hierarchy, most priests and most laity of the Catholic Church.

We protest on the sidewalks of cathedrals throughout the country supporting survivors and demanding accountability, responsibility and change.

We name corrupt Cardinals, Bishops and priests and demand their resignations and indictments.

We support survivors and others as they shatter the silence that has entombed for centuries the sexual, ritual and spiritual abuse of children, women and men.

We honor the right of each individual to speak form their heart.

We support other groups and individuals with similar goals.

While STTOP! works with many groups and individuals regarding clergy sex abuse, STTOP! neither endorses nor promotes the specific opinions on other matters and/or mission statements of any group or individual listed on our site.

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Updated 11/11/2017
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