MO- Victims blast Catholic officials over new ruling
For immediate release: Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
An appeals court says a clergy sex abuse and cover up suit against a Kansas City Catholic bishop and priest must be tossed out because the alleged crimes did not happen directly on church property.
Congratulations again to Bishop Robert Finn for successfully finding and using another legal loophole to keep the cover ups of Fr. Michael Tierney's crimes covered up.
The "take away" is frightening here: Elementary teachers should molest students while parked on the street, not in the school lot. Middle school coaches should molest their players after "away" games, not "home" games. And ministers should molest their flocks on retreats, not in the church itself.
It's hard to know what's more outrageous: that secular officials permit this loophole or that allegedly religious officials exploit this loophole.
The 1997 Missouri Supreme Court ruling - Gibson v. Brewer - on which part of today's ruling is based, will not stand. Catholic officials will, however, exploit it as long as they possibly can.
The only real question is whether our justice system will fix it quickly or slowly. Let's hope it doesn't take the rape of a judge's daughter or a lawmaker's son to get this remedied so that those who commit and conceal heinous crimes against kids
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.