For immediate release: Tuesday, Aug. 6
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)
Once again, smart and aggressive lawyering has protected top Catholic officials from having to answer in court for their repeated and reckless secrecy and complicity in a troubling child sex abuse and cover up case.
The 11 year old case of Joe V. Doe v. the Holy See, filed in Oregon federal court, has been withdrawn.
Fortunately, however, a similar case in the UK is proceeding. It involves a woman who was sexually assaulted by Father Wilfred Baldwin.
In response to Doe’s withdrawal, the Pope’s lawyer makes the vague claim that this suit has “factual” difficulties. But here are the real facts:
--After facing child sex abuse allegations or admissions each time, numerous Catholic officials moved this priest from Ireland to Illinois to Oregon.
--Because popes insist on exploiting legal technicalities, more facts about this case will likely remain forever hidden.
--Because popes insist on exploiting legal technicalities, high ranking Catholic officials won’t likely ever face consequences for knowingly putting kids in harm’s way, exploiting unsuspecting parents’ trust, and causing this Oregon man to be sexually violated.
This brave man was able, through this suit, to force Vatican officials – for the first time ever - to turn over records about a pedophile priest. Given the historic and on-going secrecy of the Catholic hierarchy, that’s a huge achievement. We hope he is proud of that accomplishment. We certainly are proud of him.
We hope other victims across the world will continue to pursue more aggressive and creative ways of exposing – and hopefully deterring - the evil deeds of Catholic officials in child sex abuse and cover up cases.