New clergy sex & cover up cases filed in MT, SNAP responds
We applaud these brave, wounded men and women who are continuing to expose predators, warn families, protect kids, and educate the public about child molesting clerics and complicit Catholic officials.
It must be tempting for them, having finally - after decades of being ignored, rebuffed, and silenced – to be silent again. After all, they’ve done more than 95% of child sex abuse victims have ever done – spoken, up, exposed predators, warned families, sought justice, been persistent and finally achieved some small measure of closure and healing. It must be tempting to say “I’ve done my part. I’m done now.”
However, that is precisely what wrongdoers count on. They assume that eventually, those who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups will someday grow tired or give up. Then, no more secrets will be revealed, no more pedophiles will be exposed, and no more corrupt supervisors will be inconvenienced.
These victims are rejecting that safe, easy, tempting course of action. Instead, they’re choosing the tougher road. Again, their lives will be scrutinized. They’ll be criticized. They’ll endure the long, unpredictable rigors of the justice system.
But they must know, in their hearts, they are acting responsibly. They’re going “above and beyond.” They’re doing what tens of thousands of current and former Catholic church staff – from custodians to cardinals – should have done long ago. They’re working to protect innocent kids and expose unhealthy secrets.
We applaud them for it and hope their brave example will encourage others who were violated as kids and are still suffering in shame, confusion nd self-blame to come forward, start healing and safeguard others.
(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 23 years and have more than 10,000 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 Blaine (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, firstname.lastname@example.org), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
Sexual abuse lawsuit filed against Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena
Posted: Sep 21, 2011 1:05 PM by KXLH
Thirty-four men and women who claim that they were sexually abused as children by Catholic priests filed a civil lawsuit on Tuesday against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena.
The case was filed in Montana First Judicial District Court of Lewis & Clark County in Helena.
The lawsuit asks the court for a comprehensive list of non-monetary remedies on behalf of victims, including an attorney general investigation into the diocese.
Earlier this year, the Society of Jesus, Northwest Province, agreed to pay $166 million to settle more than 500 sex-abuse claims throughout the Pacific Northwest. Many of the victims in that case attended Montana schools, churches and missions operated by the Helena diocese.
Attorneys say the Helena diocese must now answer for its own "gross negligence," even though the Jesuit case has settled.
Tim Kosnoff, a Seattle attorney specializing in sex-abuse cases, said this case is about public safety; he charges that the Helena diocese is lax in warning parents of dangers and continues to put children at risk.
We have contacted the Helena diocese for their response to the lawsuit, but have not yet received a response.
We will update you as we learn more.
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.