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SNAP
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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release
Giving Voice to Victims

 

For Immediate Release:
November 18, 2007

For More Information:
Attorney John Manly of Newport Beach, CA (949) 689-7895 cell
Attorney Ken Roosa of Anchorage, AK, (907) 441-0507 cell
Elsie Boudreau of Anchorage, AK, SNAP Native American Outreach Director (907) 529-2843 cell
Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, CA, SNAP Southwest Regional Director (949) 322-7434 cell

Alaska victims reach settlement with Oregon Jesuits

$50 million settlement is largest ever against a religious order

However, known and admitted predators still housed and supported by Jesuit leadership

Diocese of Fairbanks still refuses to accept responsibility

Alaska Natives abused en masse by clergy, entire generations destroyed

November 18, 2007 - Today, attorneys for 110 Alaska Native victims of sexual abuse announced a $50 million settlement with the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus. This is the largest single settlement against a Catholic religious order.

The settlement does not include the Diocese of Fairbanks, whom victims say bears an equal responsibility for the wide-scale abuse of hundreds of children in remote Alaska Native Villages.

"No amount of money can ever bring back a childhood, a soul, or a community," said Ken Roosa of Anchorage, Alaska, one of the victims' attorneys. "In some villages, it is difficult to find an adult who was not sexually violated by men who used religion and power to rape, shame and then silence hundreds of Alaska Native children. Despite all this, no Catholic religious leader has yet to admit that problem priests were dumped in Alaska. For our clients, this settlement represents a long overdue acknowledgment of the truth of their stories of abuse, stories that until today were largely denied and belittled by apologists for the abusers. For so many, this day will be the day they remember all their lives."

The lawsuits are still active against the Diocese of Fairbanks, who owned and managed the churches in the villages where the Jesuit priests and volunteers were assigned.

"The Jesuits' responsibility does not end by simply writing a check," said victims' attorney John Manly of Newport Beach, CA. "This abuse has caused a whole culture to bear an overwhelming sadness and deep, abiding pain. The Jesuit leadership must take full accountability for what they did to these kids."

Manly and Roosa also maintain that court documents show that the Jesuits never called law enforcement to report known and continuing crimes.

"Catholics who donate to Jesuit universities and programs should ask some very tough questions about why the leadership lied about abuse, allowed Native kids to be raped and why they are still protecting admitted abusers," Manly said.

A press conference has been scheduled for TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 20 at 2:00 pm
Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuit) Headquarters
3215 SE 45th Ave. in Portland


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
www.snapnetwork.org
 


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