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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Group upset that Cardinal pays for priest’s lawyer

Victims to leaflet Catholic predator’s former church

A just-suspended accused child molesting cleric worked there

SNAP: “If you saw, suspected or suffered abuse, you must speak up”

Group says its an “inherent conflict” for Rigali to fund Lynn’s lawyer

WHAT:
As Catholic parishioners leave mass, clergy sex abuse victims will hand out fliers at a church where a just-suspended alleged predator priest worked. The leaflets will list two dozen recently-ousted Philly priests and will urge parishioners to:
-- ask loved ones and fellow church members if anyone saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups to contact law enforcement,
-- call Cardinal Justin Rigali and insist that he STOP PAYING for a defense lawyer for a priest who allegedly endangered hundreds of children and who now faces criminal charges.

WHERE:
Outside the St. Timothy Catholic Church , 3013 Levick Street (corner of Battersby) in Philadelphia

WHEN:
Sunday, March 27 at 12:30 p. m.

WHO:
Two-four men and women who were sexually abused and their supporters, all of whom are members of an international support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a California woman who is the group's Western Regional Director.

WHY:
On Friday, a Philly judge decided that Philadelphia’s Cardinal Justin Rigali could keep paying for a defense lawyer for Msgr. William Lynn, the nation’s first church official to ever face criminal charges for endangering kids by protecting pedophile priests. SNAP considers this “continuing collusion” because the group is convinced Rigali is quietly using this pressure to keep Lynn silent about church cover ups.

SNAP also believes Rigali is “rewarding wrongdoing” by this “cozy arrangement.” Making Lynn pay for his own defense lawyer, the group says, would help deter future clergy sex cover ups.

SNAP is asking lay Catholics to protest this use of their donations by calling Rigali and insisting that he stop paying for Lynn’s defense.

On March 7, Rigali suspended 21 credibly accused child molesting Catholic priests, in the wake of a shocking grand jury report. (That report concluded that 37 credibly accused offender priests were still working among unsuspecting families and innocent children in local Catholic parishes. Just weeks before suspending the priests, Rigali had claimed no one with “established or admitted” abuse was still on the job.)

Among them was Fr. Thomas J. Rooney who worked St. Timothy church until his recent suspension. SNAP believes many current and former church members and staff have suspicions or knowledge about Rooney that should be conveyed to law enforcement.

Rooney was ordained in 1991. More info about him is available at BishopAccountability.org

The attorney representing Msgr. Lynn is Tom Bergstrom, 610-251-9260.

Fr. Stephen Leva (215 624 6188) is the current pastor of St. Timothy’s.

CONTACT: Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, CA, SNAP Western Regional Director (949) 322-7434
David Clohessy of St. Louis, MO, SNAP National Director (314) 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com
Barb Dorris of St. Louis, MO, SNAP Outreach Director (314) 503-0003


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