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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Victims urge 3 prosecutors to act

Group says DA's should launch grand jury probes

SNAP: Such investigations are “more important than ever”

Self help group also begs Bishop Finn’s backers to “back off”

Another pro-prelate rally planned in downtown KC on Saturday

They fear bishops’ supporters “unintentionally intimidate kids & teens”

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos, clergy sex abuse victims will announce that they’ve just written to

1. prosecutors in three western Missouri counties urging grand jury investigations into the cover up of clergy sex crimes by KC Catholic officials, and

2. supporters of KC’s controversial Catholic prelate, urging them to stop holding public rallies backing their bishop. (Another pro-prelate parade is scheduled for Saturday morning in downtown KC.)

WHEN
Friday, June 17, 11:15 A.M.

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

WHO
Three-five members of a victims’ self-help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a St. Louis man who is the organization’s long time director

WHY
In March, SNAP hand-delivered a letter to the then-Jackson County prosecutor seeking a grand jury investigation into the KC Catholic diocese. Since then, he’s been replaced by Jean Baker, and three local priests have been publicly accused of sexual misdeeds (Fr. Shawn Ratigan, Fr. Michael Tierney and Msgr. Robert Murphy).

Now more than ever, in light of these credible allegations, SNAP is renewing its plea to prosecutor, not just in Jackson County but in Buchanan and Clay counties as well. (The diocese is headquartered in Jackson County, Ratigan worked in all three.) SNAP believes that thorough criminal investigations would lead to charges against church higher-ups (like child endangerment, evidence tampering, etc.)

SNAP is also writing to supporters of the embattled Bishop Robert Finn and urging them to back the bishop privately, not publicly. The group believes that public rallies for the bishop scares victims, especially youngsters, into keeping quiet and thus lets predators go unreported. Quietly supporting the bishop is appropriate, SNAP says, but public events leave victims, witnesses and whistleblowers feeling helpless and intimidated.

Another such “pro-Finn” event, “Solidarity Event for Bishop Robert Finn.” is set for Saturday morning downtown. It’s a parade being organized by Rebecca Ann Pawlowski (816) 507-0911, becky_pawlowski@yahoo.com. She says they’re predicting “a very large turnout.” It starts at St. Patrick’s, 803 Cherry, and ends at the cathedral.

Organizers of the first “pro-Finn” event include Nathan Lewis 816-753-4565, Cheryl Currar 816-333-9526, Carolyn O'Laughlin, Matthew Roper, Evelyn Jennings, and Ginger Wylie.

CONTACT
David Clohessy 314 566 9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com, Mike Hunter 913-634-6490, Barbara Dorris 314 503 0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com


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