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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Sex Abuse Victims Say: Diocese Must Release Documents

20+ Victims Have Sued Catholic Church Over Abusive Cleric

Local Court Orders Baton Rouge Diocese to Stop Withholding Files

Even Predator Priest Said, At First, It’s OK to Turn Over Church Records

But Nearly a Year Later, Bishop Refuses to End “Hurtful Secrecy,” Group Says

What:
Holding signs and childhood photos, victims of childhood sexual abuse and their supporters will hand out fliers to passers-by about an alleged pedophile priest who worked nearby. The fliers will urge people to:
-- ask people they know about the predator (who stands accused of raping 30 boys)
-- urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered his crimes – or any clergy crimes - to call police and get help, and
-- call Baton Rouge’s Catholic bishop and tell him to immediately turn over all documents about a child molesting cleric.

Where:
Outside Christ the King Catholic Church (near the LSU campus, at the corner of Highland Road and Dalrymple Drive) in Baton Rouge, LA

When:
Saturday, May 15, 1:00 pm

Who:
Two - three men and women who are clergy abuse victims or supporters and who belong to a Chicago-based support group called SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org).

Why:
Over a year ago (Nov. 2008), State District Judge Curtis Calloway ordered the Baton Rouge Catholic Diocese to produce documents to several victims who are suing. To avoid the order and delay the case, the Diocese appealed. The First Circuit Court of Appeals ordered another judge, Wilson Fields, to inspect the documents. Fields then gave the Diocese until Sept. 17 (2009) to file the documents with the court. But Baton Rouge Bishop Robert Muench continues to fight the order to keep the records secret, which relate to as many as 17 predators in the Diocese including the late Bishop Joseph Sullivan (whom church officials admit molested kids).

The pending cases center on Fr. Christopher J. Springer, who worked in more than six parishes in Louisiana (including St. Gerard Majella in Baton Rouge, St. Pius X in Baton Rouge, St. Mary’s of False River, Pointe Coupee Church, Our Lady of the Assumption in Clinton, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Slidell and St. Alphonsus Parish in New Orleans).

SNAP wants local citizens and Catholics to call Muench and insist that he obey the court and turn over the records.

The lawsuits allege sexual assaults “between 1973 and 1984 while Springer “served in a position of authority for the devoutly Catholic families,” according to The Advocate.

Springer now works and lives at a retirement community in Pearl River, LA. Last year, Springer had authorized the release of the Diocese's file, but later withdrew his consent, claiming he’d agreed to the disclosure “under duress.”

Charles Cusimano is one of the attorneys for the diocese, Cyrus Greco is one of Springer’s lawyers. Houston attorney Felecia Peavy (713-222-0205) represents all the former altar boys who are suing.

Cusimano said, at one point Springer worked in the Clinton area and had a trailer there.

http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/53523557.html

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2006/11_12/2006_12_28_Angelette_3ExAltar.htm

Contact:
Barbara Dorris 314 503 0003, David Clohessy 314 566 9790


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