The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Monday, July 13, 2009
Church Records In Clergy Sex Cases To Be Opened
Long Secret Documents About Cover Ups May "Finally See the Light of Day," SNAP Says
Support Group Challenges Archbishop to "Stop Hurtful and Expensive Delays" and "Let Healing Happen"
For more information:
A judge in Oregon has decided that most of hundreds of pages of long-secret church records in clergy sex abuse cases against Catholic clergy will be made public.
In a ruling issued by Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth Perris, lawyers for the Portland archdiocese and the accused predator priests have 30 days to appeal.
“For the hundreds of wounded Oregon men and women who are seeking justice, and the hundreds of thousands of Oregon parents who are seeking to protect their kids, this is a critical victory,” said Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, outreach director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "Now, we just hope that Vlazny won't play more self-serving 'legal hardball' and appeal this ruling. Doing so only increases the hurt felt by clergy sex abuse victims and the distrust felt by parishioners."
Archdiocesan staff have, in the past, repeatedly insisted they want victims to heal.
"If that's true, they'll stop fighting to keep the truth hidden," Dorris said. "Bishops verbally promise 'openness,' but then quietly instruct their lawyers to do everything possible to keep their cover ups covered up."
Attorney Erin Olson of Portland (503 546 3150) represented the victims in the cases.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests