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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

For immediate release: Tuesday, March 9, 2010

For more information: David Clohessy 314 566 9790, Bob Schwiderski (952) 471 3422 (h)

Catholic diocese loses round in clergy sex cover up case

It claimed keeping secret about child molester was permissible

"Stop exploiting legal technicalities," SNAP says to Fargo bishop

Self help group wants church officials to “reach out” to “others in pain”

A national support group for abuse victims is praising a North Dakota judge’s ruling that lets a man’s lawsuit alleging that he suffered clergy sex crimes move forward. The organization is also blasting Fargo’s Catholic bishop for what it calls “mean-spirited legal tactics.”

In a decision issued last week, Cass County District Court Judge John C. Irby rejected claims by the Fargo Catholic diocese that it wasn’t obligated to warn parents that a credibly accused child molesting cleric was teaching their children and chaperoning them on out-of-state trips.

The cleric is Brother Raimond (Ray) Rose, who now lives near a Catholic school in Chicago and is accused of molesting boys at Shanley High School in Fargo.

“Child sex victims deserve their day in court, and Catholic officials should be ashamed of themselves for trying to exploit and hide behind legal technicalities,” said Bob Schwiderski of Wayzata, Minnesota. He’s the state director of a Chicago-based self help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org).

“Catholic staffers know Rose is a predator, but rather than take responsibility for the crimes of their employees, they fight tooth and nail in court and use every legal maneuver their high priced defense lawyers can dream up,” said David Clohessy, SNAP's national director. “Fargo’s bishop is acting more like a cold-hearted CEO than a compassionate shepherd.”

Earlier this week in St. Paul MN, a tenth civil child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit was filed involving Rose and his immediate church supervisors, the Christian Brothers. A California case against Rose settled several years ago for $1 million.

“Men and women who were assaulted as kids are often still suffering the life-long, traumatic effects of horrific childhood betrayal,” said Clohessy. “They need and deserve compassion, not hostility and hair-splitting, from church officials.”

The first North Dakota case against Rose was filed last October by a Minnesota man, David Gaffaney, who says Rose molested him on a trip to Florida. Gaffaney is represented by St. Paul MN attorney Patrick Noaker (651 227 9990 work, 612 961 1307 cell).

SNAP often blasts “arbitrary, archaic and predator-friendly” time limits on civil lawsuits involving child sex crimes.

“But just because some states have callous laws doesn’t mean a bishop has to try and take advantage of them,” Clohessy said.

(For legal perspective, please contact Marci Hamilton, 215 353 8984, hamilton02@aol.com, professor at Cardozo University and author of “Justice Denied.”)


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