The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Friday, May 6, 2011
Victims challenge archdiocese’s deadline
Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, president of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com)
One reason hundreds of Milwaukee area kids were sexually assaulted by priests is because Catholic officials, for years, exploited an arbitrary legal deadline: the statute of limitations. Now, Catholic officials are trying to exploit another such deadline.
This early deadline is advantageous to the Catholic hierarchy and virtually no one else.
Victims of childhood trauma come forward when they are able to do so. Expecting them to somehow magically ‘fast-track’ their healing for the convenience of a church hierarchy that has, for decades, ignored and concealed child sex crimes is extraordinarily callous.
(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 23 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)
Archdiocese wants Sept. 15 deadline for claims by abuse victims
By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel - May 6, 2011 12:28 p.m.
Lawyers for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee are expected to file a motion Friday asking federal Bankruptcy Judge Susan V. Kelly to set a deadline of Sept. 15 for claims to be filed by victims of clergy sex abuse, Archbishop Jerome Listecki said in his weekly email message to local Catholics.
The motion also asks the court to approve an extensive public awareness campaign to notify victims of the deadline, and to protect the identities of victims.
Attorneys representing victims did not immediately return telephone calls seeking comment.
The deadline, known as the "bar date" - the time after which claims are barred - is significant in bankruptcies because it affects the size of the claimant pool eligible for whatever settlement is negotiated. Catholic Church bankruptcies in some cases have included extended bar dates for future claimants.
At least one attorney for victims, Jeff Anderson of St. Paul, Minn., has already launched an advertising campaign to alert survivors about the bankruptcy.
Listecki said the archdiocese's campaign would be published in English, Spanish and Hmong languages; and in church and secular media, including those that serve the deaf and hard-of-hearing.
The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in January after it failed to reach a settlement with victims. They allege, many in pending civil court cases, that the archdiocese defrauded them by moving abusive priests from post to post without telling families of their sexual histories.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests