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SNAP
Statement



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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Wednesday, October 14, 2009

State High Court refuses to let Catholic priest sue accusers

Statement by Barbara Dorris, National Outreach Director for SNAP 314-862-7688

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

We are heartened by this ruling and hope it brings a measure of peace to these two brave survivors. The court has done what church officials once again have refused to do, take action against predator priests.

For decades church officials have chosen to let predator priests use these retaliatory tactics to keep victims trapped in guilt and self blame and to silence witnesses. These men merely cooperated with a church investigation, doing what church officials repeatedly claim they want. They reported their abuse to diocesan officials. Because they complied with church policy Father Robert Stepek sued them.

The church found the allegations credible and removed Stepek and then claimed to be powerless when Stepek attacked his victims in court. Yet the church recruited, educated, employs, houses, insures and pays Stepek. Cardinal George has the ability, and the duty, to make sure his employees do not exploit the courts to harass sex abuse victims.

We hope this ruling will encourage other victims of clergy abuse to come forward and report these horrific crimes to law enforcement.

(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 since 1988 and have more than 9,000 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)


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


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