RELIGION

Watchdog group that fought Catholic Church faces upheaval

FILE - In this Feb. 15, 2006, file photo, Barbara Blaine, president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, also known as SNAP, speaks out at a news conference in Chicago after the Archdiocese of Chicago appointed a chancellor to oversee internal investigations of child sex abuse allegations. Blaine, the founder of the group that advocates for priest abuse victims, has stepped down after three decades of campaigning to force the Catholic Church to recognize the extent of the scandal and compensate thousands of people affected. (AP Photo/Joshua Lott, File)

FILE - In this Feb. 15, 2006, file photo, Barbara Blaine, president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, also known as SNAP, speaks out at a news conference in Chicago after the Archdiocese of Chicago appointed a chancellor to oversee internal investigations of child sex abuse allegations. Blaine, the founder of the group that advocates for priest abuse victims, has stepped down after three decades of campaigning to force the Catholic Church to recognize the extent of the scandal and compensate thousands of people affected. (AP Photo/Joshua Lott, File)  (The Associated Press)

A victims' support group that helped force the Roman Catholic Church to confront the problem of child-molesting priests is going through upheaval of its own, including the resignations of two top leaders and a potentially reputation-damaging lawsuit.

Barbara Blaine stepped down Friday as president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP. And David Clohessy resigned as executive director about a month ago. The change in leadership was sandwiched around a Jan. 17 lawsuit accusing SNAP of taking kickbacks from lawyers.

Blaine and Clohessy said Monday that their resignations were planned months ago and were unrelated to the lawsuit.