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SNAP
Statement



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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

Statement Regarding

 

For immediate release:
Thursday, June 30, 2005

Court Hearing: Whether Rockford, IL Bishop Must Turn Over Documents Re: Priest Sex Abuse
Hearing to be held at Kane County Courthouse, Geneva, IL Today 9:00 a.m.

Jane Doe v. Diocese of Rockford IL, Court Room #304, Judge Keith Brown.

Statement by SNAP leader Barbara Blaine of Chicago
(Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), largest and oldest support group for clergy abuse survivors, based in Chicago, over 5,800 members

"We applaud the courage of the victims of Father Mark Campobello who were sexually abused as teenagers in 1999 and 2000. Because they had the courage to speak out other youngsters are safe. Father Campobello is in jail and can’t abuse any children now. (www.rickross.com/reference/clergy/clergy278.html )

In a hearing today Kane County Judge Keith Brown will hear arguments regarding whether Bishop Thomas Doran and the Diocese of Rockford must turn over records to attorneys for the victims in their civil case.

It is time for Bishop Doran to come clean. He has previously been found in contempt of court for his refusal to turn over documents to prosecutors in criminal proceedings against Campobello. (www.state.il.us/court/Opinions/AppellateCourt/2004/2ndDistrict/May/Html/2030725.htm)

Bishop Doran should stop trying to use constitutional protections regarding separation of church and state to keep records hidden regarding felony criminal sexual abuse of children. The constitution was never intended to be used as an excuse to cover up sex crimes.

The victims deserve to know the truth. The larger catholic community can only begin to heal when the truth is exposed and confronted. The bishop should stop using every conceivable legal maneuver to keep secrets hidden and just cooperate with exposing the truth. The victims have been through so much that the least the diocese should do is to cooperate with the turning over of documents and information relating to priests sexually abusing children in the Rockford Diocese.

The priest, Campobello, pled guilty in 2004 to sexually abusing two teenage girls and is now in prison for those offenses. There is no question regarding the priest’s guilt so church officials should stop hiding behind legal technicalities while trying to evade responsibility for the horrendous crimes.

Bishop Doran’s actions speak louder than his words. While he made pledges with his fellow bishops to a new era of openness and transparency his actions tell that his words hold empty promises. Doran’s behavior says that he remains committed to secrecy.

We urge Bishop Doran to immediately stop using hardball legal tactics against abuse victims and take actions to promote healing. Healing begins with exposing the truth."

For additional information:
Barbara Blaine, President of SNAP, 312 399 4747
David Clohessy, National Direction of SNAP, 314 566 9790
Barbara Dorris, SNAP Outreach Coordinator, 314 862 7688


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


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