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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Victims blast MO Supreme Court

And they chastise Missouri Catholic officials

New decision creates discrimination, group says

US bishops ignore papal admonition to stop future abuse

New court ruling makes it “much tougher” for kids hurt in churches

SNAP: “Those molested in public institutions, however, have more rights”

Group challenges legislators to “go back to the drawing board” & re-do stricken laws

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will blast Missouri’s Supreme Court for
--- tossing out two clergy sex abuse cases this week and making it harder for other child molestation victims to take legal action, and
-- making at least _ rulings in recent years that favor child predators over children.

They will also prod
--state lawmakers to try next session to re-do some of the laws overturned by the high court and
--anyone who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes to keep coming forward, despite recent adverse court decisions

WHEN
TODAY, Tuesday, July 13, 1:00 p.m.

WHERE
Outside the federal courthouse at 8th & Locust in downtown Kansas City, MO

WHO
Two-three members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

WHY
Two weeks ago, in a thus-far-unnoticed move, Missouri’s highest court tossed out two civil lawsuits that charge a Catholic priest with molesting girls and Catholic officials with ignoring or concealing those crimes. Most such decisions hinge on the statute of limitations. In these cases, however, the court is endorsing what SNAP called “a two tiered, discriminatory set of standards” that make it harder for children assaulted in religious settings to expose predators than children assaulted in private or public settings.

It’s the latest in a series of at least seven recent Missouri Supreme Court rulings (over the last three or four years) that have gone against child sex abuse victims, SNAP says.

SNAP believes it’s immoral for Catholic officials to “exploit legal technicalities” in child sex abuse lawsuits. The group feels he should fight accusers, if he so chooses, on the merits, not on legal “loopholes.” (The defendant in the most recent case is the St. Louis Catholic Archdiocese.) Such legal maneuvers by Catholic bishops are especially galling, the group says, in light of the Pope’s pledge, just two weeks ago, to “do everything possible” to stop crimes by pedophile priests.

SNAP wants Missouri legislators to “go back to the drawing board” and re-draft some of the statutes which the Supreme Court has overturned.

According to the American Bar Association, Wisconsin and Missouri are the only states “in which courts have shielded religious organizations from such lawsuits. They have given First Amendment free-exercise-clause protections to internal decision-making in dealing with clergy accused of sexual abuse.” http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/collaring_the_clergy/

CONTACT
Adam Walker 417 4968833, adam@adamwalker.biz, David Clohessy 314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com


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