KA - Sex Abuse Victims Blast Kansas City Catholic Legal Tactics
Dec. 17, 2003
For more information:
David Clohessy, SNAP's national director (St. Louis) 314 566 9790 cell
Barbara Blaine, SNAP's founder and president (Chicago) 312 399 4747 cell
Mike Hunter, SNAP's Kansas City leader 913 648 3365
SNAP Is Upset That Bishop Allows Priest To Preserve Secrecy
Abusive Cleric Seeks To Close Court Files & Stop Publicity
Boland "Protects A Grown Up Instead of Kids," Advocate Says
The founder of the nation's largest support group for clergy sexual abuse victims is criticizing Kansas City Bishop Raymond Boland for allowing one of his priests to "fight to keep secrets" about the alleged molestation of two Kansas City area man and woman.
At issue are recent court motions by defense attorneys for Fr. Francis McGlynn, an allegedly abusive cleric, that seek to prevent any publicity and stop or seal any discovery or depositions in two civil lawsuits. One seeks to essentially prohibit any coverage outside the courtroom, suggesting that any media attention would be an "annoyance and embarrassment" to the priest. The other seeks "a comprehensive protective order to protect (McGlynn's) privacy. . ." claiming that any discovery would be "unnecessary and wasteful."
Both, a nationally known advocate for victims says, "put a higher priority on the feelings of one grown up than on the safety of perhaps dozens of kids."
"Publicly, Boland and many of his brother bishops pledge 'openness'," said Barbara Blaine of Chicago, president of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), the nation's largest clergy abuse victims self-help group. "But quietly, Boland lets a priest fight for gag orders and continued secrecy. He's again siding with secrecy instead of truth."
"As we have seen time and time again, the emphasis is on protecting the priest's reputation, rather than getting the facts out," she said.
"If McGlynn is 'truly innocent,' he should welcome an open airing of the truth," Blaine said. "And if Boland is truly compassionate, he should push for openness too."
Blaine urged anyone who was victimized by a church employee or representative to contact her group, a therapist, or law enforcement. SNAP's web site is SNAPnetwork.org
On Oct. 9, Frank Sheuring and Theresa White sued the Kansas City Diocese, Bishop Boland, Fr. Patrick Rush (the diocese's vicar general) and McGlynn. Scheuring lives in Kansas City, and White lives in Harrisonville. Both say they were victimized by McGlynn at St. Mary's parish during the 1970s.
The local victims are represented by Kansas City attorneys Rebecca M. Randles (816 931 9901), who is handling several dozen similar clergy molestation cases. Defense lawyers include James R. Wyrsch (816 221 0080) representing McGlynn, and Johathan R. Haden and James P. Tierney representing the bishop and the diocese.
McGlynn reportedly still lives in the Kansas City area. His most recent assignment was in the small town of Sugar Creek.The suit was filed in October. The defense motions were filed roughly two weeks ago.
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.