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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Tuesday, December 14, 2010
CT-based Catholic group sued for child sex abuse
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
(Today a civil lawsuit is being filed against the CT-based Knights of Columbus for alleged child sex abuse that happened in the Brownsville TX area.)
We hope others who saw, suspected or suffered abuse in this huge Catholic organization will come forward, get help, call police, protect others and start healing. We also hope that Knights of Columbus officials will respond to this accusation with compassion, not combativeness. It would be tragic if this group fights this allegation tooth and nail in court like so many callous Catholic officials have done. If the K of C hierarchy believes this accused predator is innocent, we hope they’ll defend themselves on the merits and not try to exploit technicalities.
It’s worth noting that the Knights of Columbus loaned millions of dollars to Cardinal Bernard Law in 2003 to help him settle dozens of horrific child sex abuse and cover up lawsuits in the Boston archdiocese.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 22 years and have more than 10,000 members. 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, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, firstname.lastname@example.org), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
Knights of Columbus sued over sexual abuse claims
The Associated Press Posted: 12/14/2010 07:36:01 AM PST
NEW HAVEN, Conn.—Two men have sued the Knights of Columbus alleging they were sexually abused decades ago by a leader of the Catholic fraternal organization's youth program.
Jeffrey Herman, attorney for the men, said he believes the lawsuits are the first against the Knights of Columbus, the largest lay Catholic organization in the world, to allege sexual abuse of children.
The lawsuits allege Juan "Julian" Rivera, a former leader of the Columbian Squires in Brownsville, Texas, abused the men in the 1970s and '80s when they were boys.
A message was left for Rivera with the Squires in Texas.
Patrick Korten, senior vice president for the New Haven-based Knights, said the organization has long had a program to ensure the safety of children. He said he would respond to the allegations later Tuesday.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests