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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Group seeks grand jury investigation into diocese

Clergy sex victims wants KC prosecutor to launch probe

And yet another civil lawsuit against a predator priests is filed

SNAP: “Even now, Finn is keeping a credibly accused priest around kids”

And though 18 current & ex-priests are accused by 80 victims, no one’s prosecuted

“Something must change,” self help group says, “if children are to be better protected”

Elsewhere, DAs are getting more aggressive & creative about pursuing old sex crimes, SNAP says

WHAT
After a sidewalk news conference (at which they’ll hold signs and childhood photos), clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will hand deliver a letter to Kansas City’s prosecutor urging him/her to launch a grand jury investigation into clergy sex crimes and cover ups.

They will also disclose and discuss a new civil child sex abuse lawsuit against a notorious suspended serial predator priest. He still walks free in KC but could and should be prosecuted and jailed, they believe.

And they will prod victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to call police and prosecutors so wrongdoers can be imprisoned and wrongdoing can be prevented.

WHEN
TODAY, Wednesday, April 27 at 1:15 p.m.

WHERE
On the sidewalk outside the Kansas City prosecutor's office, 1101 Locust St. (corner of East 12th) in Kansas City, MO (816) 513-3806

WHO
Two-three clergy sex abuse victims who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a St. Louis man who is the organization’s director

WHY
A new civil lawsuit, filed today in Jackson County court, charges that Fr. Thomas Reardon repeatedly molested a then nine year old boy for six years at St. Elizabeth parish in KC MO starting in 1975.

Two months ago, a grand jury in Philadelphia released a 124 page report harshly criticizing the city’s Catholic hierarchy for engaging, even now, “in practices that mislead victims, violate their trust, hinder prosecution of their abusers and leave large numbers of credibly accused priests in ministry.” Some 37 credibly accused offender priests were found to still be quietly working in parishes around kids, according to the report and the district attorney.

SNAP maintains that Kansas City’s bishop Robert W. Finn is acting with similar recklessness, callousness and deceit. Finn is keeping Fr. Michael Tierney on the job at Christ the King parish in Kansas City, despite two troubling allegations against him. (In a civil lawsuit filed in 9/29/10, Tierney was accused of molesting a boy in 1971. And in a civil suit filed in February, he was accused of making “lewd comments” to a boy who was being molested by another priest, Fr. Thomas J. O’Brien.)

Even after one bishop ousted a former Kansas City priest due to credible clergy sex abuse allegations, Finn stayed silent, refusing to warn his flock about the cleric. (He’s Fr. Mark Honhart of Scranton PA, who was sued recently.)

And Finn has also kept quiet about a serial predator priest, Fr. John M. Fiala, who faces pending charges that he tried to hire a “hit man” to kill one of his victims. (A story about Fiala is in a recent edition of PEOPLE Magazine.)

SNAP believes that local law enforcement should launch a grand jury investigation into KC area clergy sex crimes and cover ups, and make aggressive efforts to prod victims to report to police. Roughly eight jurisdictions across the US have undertaken similar probes over the past decade.

According to a Boston-based research group, at least 18 KC Catholic clerics stand accused, often several times, of molesting kids. Yet not one of them faces or has ever faced possible criminal prosecution.

The publicly accused KC area priests, followed by the number of accusations against them involving litigation by Randles, Mata & Brown, are: Fr. Thomas J. O’Brien 24, Fr. Thomas M. Reardon 22, Fr. Hugh F. Monahan 8, Bishop Joseph Hart 6, Fr. John Tulipana 4, Fr. Francis E. McGlynn 3, Fr. Sylvester Hoppe 3, and one each against Fr. Stephen J. Muth, Fr. Tom Cronin, Fr. Michael Tierney, Fr. James Lawbaugh, Fr. Francis Lambert Wise, and Fr. Earl Johnson. (Other KC accused priests include Fr. John C. Baskett, Fr. Michael Brewer, and Fr. Thomas Ward. Other law firms have likely brought other suits against other priests whose names are unknown to SNAP).

CONTACT
David Clohessy 314 566 9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com, Adam Walker 816 812 6464,
Barbara Dorris 314 503 0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com


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