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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Victims invite upset parishioners to event

SNAP to hold Q&A session in St Joseph, Mo.

They’ll also have separate support group portion

“It helps to share your feelings in a safe place,” group says

SNAP: “If you saw, suspected or suffered clerics’ crimes, call cops now!”

For immediate release: Monday, June 13

WHAT:
A support group for clergy sex abuse victims and their families is inviting St. Joseph and Kansas City Catholics and community members to an open meeting to discuss controversial child porn and cover up allegations involving a local priest, Fr. Shawn Ratigan.

WHEN/WHERE:

The meeting will be Thursday, June 16th, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the East Hills Library (The Theater Room - lower level), 502 N Woodbine St., Joseph, MO (816-236-2136).

WHY:
“We’re hearing from dozens of really upset parishioners who justifiably feel betrayed and outraged by church officials who ignored and concealed suspected clergy sex crimes,” said Barbara Dorris, SNAP’s outreach director. “These Catholics deserve some straight answers and a chance to air their feelings and fears.”

“In recent years, more and more, we’re hearing not just from victims, but from whistleblowers and witnesses,” said Mike Hunter, SNAP’s Kansas City director. “While victims need support, so do others who’ve been hurt by the church hierarchy, like those at St. Patrick’s as well those at St. Mary's parish, St. Joseph's parish, and Bishop and LeBlond High School where Ratigan also worked. We want to do whatever we can to lend a hand to people who are in pain because of this horrific case.”

St. Patrick’s is the last location where Ratigan worked.

The first part of the meeting will be an open discussion about the Ratigan case and other crimes regarding clergy.

“We want to listen and to offer some guidance based on our decades of experiences in these kinds of tough situations,” Dorris said.

The second part of the meeting will be a confidential support group focused strictly on how everyone involved or concerned can cope with their feelings of hurt, anger, disappointment and fear.

“We’ve learned, over the years, that it’s crucial to voice our emotions, rather than try to keep them bottled up,” said Hunter. “And it’s really helpful to do that in a safe, comfortable, private setting with others who know how you’re feeling.”

“Few times in our 23 year history have we heard from so many parishioners who are so upset,” said SNAP director David Clohessy. “We feel duty-bound to hear them, comfort them, and console them.”

All three SNAP leaders are urging anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered misdeeds by Ratigan or any church employee to call police officials, not church officials.

Last week, the organization held a similar meeting in Kansas City, which was attended by about 75 community members.


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