MO- Catholic officials lose 2 court rulings
For immediate release: Thursday, February 13, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
Over the past two weeks, St. Louis Catholic officials have lost important court rulings in two similar but unrelated wrongful death lawsuits stemming from alleged clergy sex crimes.
In one, the archdiocese lost its bid to throw out a suit charging that a young man killed himself in 2009 because he was molested by a priest, Fr. Bryan Kuchar. We are grateful that these brave parents may get their day in court.
And in the other case, the archdiocese lost in a bid to get one of its insurers to pay for a clergy sex abuse settlement stemming from a victim's 2003 suicide. He was molested by Fr. Michael S. McGrath.
(Last year, a Kansas City man settled a wrongful death suit against that diocese for $2.3 million. http://www.courthousenews.com/2013/07/10/59227.htm)
We urge anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered the two priests' crimes to get help and call police. And we urge relatives of clergy sex abuse victims to explore their legal options, both civil and criminal.
(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 15,000 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, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747,SNAPblaine@gmail.com), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, firstname.lastname@example.org), Joelle Casteix (949-322-7434, email@example.com
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.