The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
MEDIA ADVISORY FOR: Friday, March 4, 2005
Catholics & Molestation Victims Want Lawyer To Quit National Post
He Should Resign From US Bishops Sex Abuse Panel
Former US Attorney Also Helps San Francisco Archbishop Help Keep Secrets
He Also Makes "Insensitive" Public Comment, SNAP Says
"Can't Serve Two Masters," Activists Assert
Yet he remains a defense lawyer for the San Francisco Catholic archdiocese, which both VOTF and SNAP consider an inherent conflict of interest. And just weeks ago, he helped Archbishop William Levada avoid having to disclose potentially embarrassing secret church documents about pedophile priests, by making deals with local prosecutors to keep such information sealed from public view.
In his first public comment on the crisis, just weeks after his appointment, Russoniello argued AGAINST publicly naming known, admitted, and suspected abusive clerics, saying "It's easy to make an accusation -- especially from a deranged, angry, vengeful person striking out against an authority figure." (November 12, 2004, San Francisco Chronicle, "Levada takes heat over abuse inquiry/Panel member resigns, says church suppressed results," by Don Lattin). SNAP members consider his remark at best ill-advised and misleading and at worst insulting and intimidating.
Russoniello is with the Cooley Godward law firm.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests