SNAP ruling has clergy-abuse victims' advocate on defensive
A prominent activist group in the Roman Catholic Church's clergy-abuse crisis is fighting a Missouri judge's ruling to open more than two decades of correspondence with victims, lawyers, witnesses and journalists thought to be confidential.
Lawyers for a Kansas City priest accused of abuse said the documentation will shed light on whether the Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, commonly known as SNAP, has coached victims to fabricate claims of repressed memory. Lawyers for the St. Louis Archdiocese are pursuing the same strategy in a separate case.
But Jackson County, Mo., Circuit Court Judge Ann Mesle's ruling last month that SNAP must provide access to the documents has sent a chill through the community of sexual-abuse survivors who have leaned on SNAP for confidential support and protection they never thought they would get from the church, the group's officers and members said.
"Rather than taking a look at themselves and reflecting on what the priests have done, the church has decided SNAP is an enemy to be crushed," said Barbara Meyer, 66, of Chicago, who said she turned to SNAP when the Chicago Archdiocese ignored her allegations of priest abuse. "They've dest...
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.