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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Sex abuse victims blast Cardinal over new document

Deposition on Friday shows his "most shocking deceit yet"

Group urges other church staff to become "whistleblowers"

In 2000, Mahony ordered a top aide to NOT tell cops about admitted molester

LA Catholics deserve a prompt explanation from the Cardinal himself, SNAP says

Victims to Catholics: "Read deposition of archdiocesan insider & see deceit for yourselves"

WHAT:
Holding childhood photos of themselves and signs listing the towns and parishes where an admitted child predator priest worked, clergy sex abuse victims will hand out fliers to parishioners as they leave Mass. The leaflets urge:
-- church members to read a new deposition by the first church insider to reveal deceit & recklessness of LA's Cardinal, and
-- church employees to 'search their consciences' and 'come clean' with info on clergy sex crimes and cover ups.

They will also make a strong public appeal:
-- to the Cardinal to respond, personally and promptly, to the new charges, and
-- to others who saw, suspected or suffered crimes by clergy priests to get help and call police

WHEN:
Sunday, September 20, 10:00 am

WHERE:
In front of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 555 W. Temple Street (at Hill), Los Angeles

WHO:
2-3 clergy sex abuse victims and their family members and supporters who are also members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), the nation's largest support group for men and women sexually abused in religious organizations.

WHY:
Earlier this week, for the first time, a once-prominent LA archdiocesan insider revealed, under oath, that in 2000, Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony refused to tell police or parishioners about a priest who admitted to Mahony that he had molested kids. Never before has one of Mahony's 'inner circle' given sworn evidence that the Cardinal so recently ignored law enforcement and deceived his flock about a sex offender cleric. http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2009/09/18/us/AP-US-California-Church-Abuse.html

In 1986, Msgr. Michael Baker personally told Mahony that he was a child molester. Baker was sent to other parishes where he allegedly molested more children. Parishes and communities were not informed of the danger.

In a sworn deposition on Tuesday, top Mahony aide Msgr. Richard Loomis said he told Mahony in 2000 that police and parishioners would have to be told about Baker's admission and other allegations after two new victims of Baker had come forward to the Archdiocese. Instead, the Cardinal insisted that no one be told until Baker was defrocked.

Because of the gravity of the new charges, SNAP is calling on Mahony himself, not his PR or legal defense staff, to address them promptly and honestly.

In January 2006, Baker was arrested at LA International Airport after returning from a vacation in Thailand. In 2007, he was convicted of molesting two boys and is serving a 10-year prison sentence. (In 2002, Baker was also charged with 34 counts of sexually abusing other kids, but the charges were dismissed because of a US Supreme Court decision (the Stogner case). http://cbs2.com/topstories/local_story_024062452.html

Because of Loomis' revelations, and an on-going federal investigation into archdiocesan cover ups, SNAP wants current and former church employees to voluntarily disclose what they know about clergy crimes and misdeeds, instead of waiting for subpoenas and depositions. Given Mahony's lengthy tenure in LA, and the sheer number of predator priests, SNAP is convinced a number of archdiocesan staff have information that could help the US Attorney with his probe.

SNAP also hopes to persuade victims and Catholics who know of or suspect abuse to contact police, expose molesters and protect kids.

The new Loomis deposition, taken Tuesday by Newport Beach attorney John Manly (949-689-7895 cell), is available at the SNAP website: SNAPnetwork.org

CONTACT:
Joelle Casteix 949 322 7434, David Clohessy 314 566 9790, Barbara Dorris 314 503 0003


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


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