The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Victims respond to Diocese's claim they'll sell HQ
Statement by David Clohessy, national director of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790)
Regarding the possible sale of diocesan property, we'll believe it when it actually happens. In 2003, the Chicago archdiocese claimed it would sell the Cardinal's mansion. It never happened.
Often, as clergy sex abuse and cover up lawsuits move closer to resolution, Catholic officials publicly posture about their alleged poverty. As far as we're concerned, unless and until a sale is actually finalized, these claims should be considered as just more church public relations.
We understand the judge's interest in trying to resolve the cases more quickly. We agree with her that long delays are unfair to victims. We disagree, however, when she says such delays are also unfair to church officials. Most often, church officials are responsible for such delays. Every day they can postpone justice, the church hierarchy gets to hold onto its money and secrets.
(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)
Diocese To Sell Headquarters; Camp To Pay Sex Judgments
BURLINGTON, Vt. -- Vermont's Roman Catholic Diocese is planning to sell its Burlington headquarters and a Lake Champlain children's camp to help pay monetary settlements with victims of priest sexual abuse.
Diocese Attorney Tom McCormick told the Burlington Free Press the church is ready to relocate its offices as a way to put the sex abuse cases in the past.
There are currently 25 priest sex abuses cases pending and the diocese just reached an out-of-court settlement against a man who had been awarded $8.75 million by a jury.
The diocese's headquarters are currently located in a North Avenue building that's on a 30-acre lot that overlooks Lake Champlain. The 26-acre Camp Holy Cross fronts on Mallets Bay in Colchester.
Meanwhile, a judge has ordered that 18 pending priest sex abuse cases against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Vermont be tried together.
Vermont Superior Court Judge Helen Toor ruled Monday that the cases against defrocked Roman Catholic priest Edward Paquette would be combined to save time.
The Burlington Free Press says a majority of the cases involve former altar boys at Christ the King Church in Burlington who say they were molested by Paquette more than 30 years ago.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests