Pedophile priest case vs. Vatican tossed; SNAP responds
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The 11 year old case of Joe V. Doe v. the Holy See, filed in Oregon federal court, has been withdrawn.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.
SNAP will be Representing Clergy Abuse Survivors in Rome!
We are taking the fight to Rome and are standing up for all survivors on a world stage! From February 19-25, Board President Tim Lennon, Seattle Leader Mary Dispenza, Los Angeles Leader Esther Hatfield Miller and Austin Leader Carol Midboe will be traveling to Rome for Pope Francis' Papal Abuse Summit.
If you are a member of the media and looking to get in touch with these survivors while in Rome, click here for our media advisory and contact information. If you are interested in connecting with a survivor in the US from your area of coverage, please contact one of the SNAP leaders in the US listed below:
- East Coast/DC: Becky Ianni (SNAPvirginia@cox.net, 703-801-6044)
- Midwest/Chicago: Zach Hiner (email@example.com, 517-974-9009)
- Midwest/St. Louis: David Clohessy (firstname.lastname@example.org, 314314-566-9790)
- West Coast / San Francisco: Melanie Sakoda (email@example.com, 925-708-6175)
If you are looking to help spread the word about the importance of this summit and for survivors to be heard, add your voice to the conversation on social media using the hashtag #PBC2019. Be sure to follow SNAP on twitter and Facebook and share our posts, add your comments, and let the world know that we are watching!Learn More