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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release
Giving Voice to Victims

 

For Immediate Release:
Saturday, April 5, 2008

For More Information:
Bob Schwiderski of Minnesota, SNAP assistant Midwest director 612 281 8132 cell
David Clohessy of St. Louis, MO- SNAP National Director 314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915
Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, MO - SNAP Outreach Director 314 862 7688

Sex abuse victims want Iowa bishop to skip upcoming papal trip

Despite ten molestation lawsuits, he’s still on payroll & isn’t being defrocked

Support group again asks that retired prelate voluntarily stay home next week

If he refuses, Iowa’s current bishops should try to keep him from going to pope’s event

When bankruptcy is over, SNAP wants diocese to work harder to monitor other predators

WHAT
At a sidewalk news conference, religious child sex abuse victims and their supporters will publicly -- urge an accused child-molesting bishop to stay home from the Pope’s events next week,

-- ask Iowa’s bishops to try and persuade him to stay home, and

-- urge Davenport’s bishop to begin working on a plan to better supervise and monitor pedophile priests who are largely living on their own without real oversight.

WHEN
Saturday, April 5, 12:15 p.m.

WHERE
On sidewalk in front of the Davenport diocesan headquarters, 2706 Gaines Ave.(at corner of Central Park), Davenport, IA

WHO
At least two adults who were molested as kids by clergyman, including a Minnesota man who is a leader in a self help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

WHY
In recent years, at least ten civil child molestation lawsuits have been filed against Bishop Lawrence D. Soens (a former Davenport priest and now retired from the Sioux City Diocese). In 2004, the Davenport diocese paid $20,000 to settle one abuse claim against Soens. Yet Soens remains a bishop in good standing on the church payroll.

SNAP suspects he’s been invited, like all the rest of America’s bishops, to attend papal events in NY and Washington DC next week. Victims want Soens to voluntarily avoid papal events and Iowa’s bishops to lean on him to stay home, so as to avoid rubbing more salt into the already deep and still fresh wounds of many Iowa Catholics and abuse victims. (Yesterday, SNAP made a similar request of Lincoln Nebraska bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, who has refused for five years to comply with the national bishops’ child sex abuse policy.)

The diocese’s bankruptcy case is approaching settlement, and so SNAP is prodding Davenport officials to follow the lead of the Philadelphia Archdiocese, which houses many of its predatory priests in one church facility so they can be better monitored and kids can be better protected."Disgraced, defrocked. . .and protected"

For more than 15 years, Soens worked in the Quad-Cities area before taking over the Sioux City Diocese in 1983. Soens’ victims were assaulted when they were students and he was principal at Regina High School in Iowa City. There are apparently no efforts within the church to investigate the cases against him or to discipline him in any way. Despite the allegations, lawsuits and settlement, Soens continues to attend and officiate at church events.

CONTACT - Bob Schwiderski of Minnesota, SNAP assistant Midwest director 612 281 8132 cell
David Clohessy of St. Louis, MO- SNAP National Director 314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915
Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, MO - SNAP Outreach Director 314 862 7688


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


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