CT- Oral arguments heard today, SNAP responds

CT- Oral arguments heard today, SNAP responds

 For immediate release: Monday, September 22, 2014

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

The Connecticut Supreme Court today heard oral arguments in a case that could be monumental for children.

Hartford Archbishop Leonard Blair wants to fix what isn't broken and turn back the clock on kids' safety. He's asking the justices to overturn a 12 year old law that protects children by helping child sex abuse victims expose child molesters in court. We desperately hope he loses. If he wins, mothers, fathers, boys, girls, employers, neighbors, police and prosecutors all lose.

If Hartford's archbishop wins, it will be the biggest legal setback for the children's safety movement since

–Wisconsin's 1995 Pritzloff decision which, for years, made it almost impossible for clergy sex abuse victims to file civil lawsuits, no matter how egregious the crimes and cover ups

–Missouri's 1997 Brewer decision, which made it extremely hard for victims to do likewise, and 

–the US Supreme Court's 2003 Stogner decision which enabled hundreds of alleged sex offenders – some being investigated, some who were already charged – go free. 

Click here for recent coverage of this case. 

Here's what we've said about it in the last few days: 

http://www.snapnetwork.org/ct_victims_urge_archbishop_to_drop

http://www.snapnetwork.org/ct_deterring

http://www.snapnetwork.org/ct_victims_speak_out_in_favor_of_law

http://www.snapnetwork.org/ct_archbishop_wants_good_child_safety_law_thrown_out

http://www.snapnetwork.org/ct_archbishop_blair_s_terrible_record_on_clergy_sex_crimes_and_cover_ups

We applaud Jacob doe for exposing clergy sex crimes and cover ups in Hartford and for having the courage and strength to endure a trial. We also applaud him for continuing to seek justice, despite delays by Archbishop Blair and his predecessor.

Despite Blair's refusal to accept a jury verdict and let Doe move ahead in his healing, we hope that Doe's bravery and persistence will encourage others who saw, suspected or suffered clergy crimes and cover ups in Connecticut to step forward, get help, and expose wrongdoing by Catholic officials too.

For more info on Blair's abuse and cover up track record in Toledo, click here.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, davidgclohessy@gmail.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)

 

Comments

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  • commented 2014-09-22 18:33:07 -0500
    It is very important to note that the Hartford Archdiocese is being represented by MALE attorneys, highly-paid, to represent and protect the leadership and the institution while the two comments so far are bravely and accurately presented by WOMEN, two of the strongest and most vocal advocates for CHILDREN who are victims of clergy sexual abuse.
    As a lifelong Catholic, father and grandfather, there is no middle ground here, regardless of the forum, courtroom or Main Street, USA……….one is ether for the children, their protection, their rights, or one is AGAINST our children. All I know is that from my Catholic education and faith, no one could pay this writer enough money to represent the archdiocese and defend their hypocritical and morally indefensible conduct and decision-making.

    Michael Skiendzielewski
    Captain (retired)
    Philadelphia Police Department
  • commented 2014-09-22 15:48:16 -0500
    “The diocese is arguing that it was only after the statute was changed again that the plaintiff was able to file the lawsuit, a situation that is unconstitutional and unfair to the church or any other institution.”
    The diocese is wrong. The retroactive aspect of the 2002 CT civil law covering childhood sexual abuse is neither unconstitutional nor “unfair to the church or any other institution” whose leaders knew about the abuse but did absolutely nothing to protect children.
    The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, Delaware challenged the constitutionality the 2007 Child Victims Law a number of times but was defeated on every challenge, thank God.
    It is a sad state of affairs when, no matter what the hierarchy says or publishes about everything they have (supposedly) done and or (supposedly) are doing, the veracity of such statements is negated by what the hierarchs do in the courtroom. Shame on them and shame on Hartford Archbishop Leonard Blair for not even following the Roman Catholic Church’s own updated Canon Law covering the sexual abuse of children.

    Sister Maureen Paul Turlish
    New Castle, DE
    CatholicWhistleblowers.com
    maturlishmdsnd@yahoo.com
  • commented 2014-09-22 15:47:17 -0500
    “The diocese is arguing that it was only after the statute was changed again that the plaintiff was able to file the lawsuit, a situation that is unconstitutional and unfair to the church or any other institution.”
    The diocese is wrong. The retroactive aspect of the 2002 CT civil law covering childhood sexual abuse is neither unconstitutional nor “unfair to the church or any other institution” whose leaders knew about the abuse but did absolutely nothing to protect children.
    The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, Delaware challenged the constitutionality the 2007 Child Victims Law a number of times but was defeated on every challenge, thank God.
    It is a sad state of affairs when, no matter what the hierarchy says or publishes about everything they have (supposedly) done and or (supposedly) are doing, the veracity of such statements is negated by what the hierarchs do in the courtroom. Shame on them and shame on Hartford Archbishop Leonard Blair for not even following the Roman Catholic Church’s own updated Canon Law covering the sexual abuse of children.

    Sister Maureen Paul Turlish
    New Castle, DE
    CatholicWhistleblowers.com
    maturlishmdsnd@yahoo.com
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