The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Release
For immediate release: Monday, Dec. 7, 2009
For more information: David Clohessy 314 566 9790
Victims' group blasts Gonzaga lawyer
His 'macho remarks' are 'inappropriate bluster,' SNAP says
Leaders of a support group for clergy sex abuse victims are criticizing Gonzaga University's lawyer for remarks he made about legal proceedings involving a Catholic religious order, the Jesuits, which run the school.
On Saturday, Mike Casey, who represents the school, told reporters, "We are not willing to neither participate in this bankruptcy nor help resolve it.” Casey claims Gonzaga is separate from the Jesuits and shouldn’t have to help fund any settlement.
"A judge will decide whether Gonzaga is involved in this process, and no amount of macho posturing by a lawyer will make any difference," said Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP's national outreach director. "Gonzaga officials should be offering help to victims and their loved ones. Instead they’re choosing to 'talking tough' to try and impress donors and would-be donors."
The Associated Press reports that Gonzaga “is fighting every attempt to link its fortunes to the (Jesuit) province.”
“Casey’s claim is that even though Jesuits founded and run and staff Gonzaga, somehow the university can’t be held responsible for knowingly hiring and protecting child molesting Jesuit clerics,” said David Clohessy, SNAP’s national director. “Legally, this might be a winning argument. Morally though, it’s disgusting.”
There is, SNAP maintains, one possible “silver lining” in the comment.
"Often when church officials and their high priced lawyers make such insensitive comments, and show their true colors, it prods others who were molested in that area to come forward," said Clohessy. “Let’s hope that this callousness will inspire others who are suffering in shame, silence and self blame to step forward, expose predators and start recovering.”
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests