The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Friday, August 28, 2009
Court sides w/ bishop in clergy sex case; Sex abuse victims respond
Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, national president of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747)
We strongly suspect Catholic officials did have prior knowledge of Funcheon's sexual proclivities and we hope this ruling will prod others who saw, suspected, suffered or concealed his crimes to step forward, do their civic duty, and contact law enforcement.
We also hope Mr. Eckert will persist in his struggle to get some justice and expose the truth. When victims and witnesses speak up, at least there's a chance for healing and prevention. But when they remain silent, predators walk free and kids get assaulted.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the nation’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 21 years and have more than 8,000 members across the country. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, 314-645-5915 home), Peter Isely (414-429-7259) Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688)
Court drops abuse suit against Ind. diocese
FORT WAYNE, Ind.- An Indiana Roman Catholic diocese and a priest's order have been cleared of wrongdoing in a lawsuit filed by a man who claims he was molested by a priest as a 10-year-old.
Allen Superior Judge Stanley A. Levine ruled Tuesday that the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and Crosier Fathers and Brothers Province Inc. could not be held responsible for the alleged abuse in part because they were unaware it was occurring.
Steven Eckert's suit will continue against the Rev. Gerald Funcheon.
Eckert, of Indianapolis, alleges he was sexually assaulted in 1965 while he attended a Catholic Youth Organization camp at Lake Wawasee.
Funcheon could not be located for comment. A 1997 article in The Indianapolis Star said his last known whereabouts were somewhere in the Northwest.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests