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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, June 8, 2011

Victims send demand letter to Bishop Finn; SNAP responds

Statement by Abott Durocher of Kansas City, SNAP Leader, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-616-5054)

We admire these 47 brave men and women who settled with the diocese in 2008. We admire them for speaking up. We admire them for taking action. We admire them for exposing predators. We admire them for protecting kids.

Most of all, we admire them for insisting that the Kansas City Catholic hierarchy take nineteen steps to better heal the wounded and protect the vulnerable. We also admire them now for insisting that church officials give an account of how they have, or have not, lived up to these commitments. These are commitments – the diocese entered into a contract with these 47 victims. These are not vague, meaningless promises, like Bishop Finn has made and is making now. These are binding agreements. We in SNAP strongly suspect they are being violated.

Why are these non-monetary concessions important? Because more than anything else, we who have been victimized want to do everything we can to help other kids avoid the pain and devastation we have experienced and are experiencing. These non-monetary concessions – which should not be necessary – are needed because Catholic officials continue to protect themselves and their reputations instead of protecting innocent kids.

We are glad these victims are giving Bishop Finn ten days to respond. If Finn has been honoring his contract with these victims, that should be plenty of time for him to explain that.

And if not, if our suspicions and fears prove to be true, if these crucial prevention pledges are being broken, we are sure these victims will explore all their legal options.

(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, peterisely@yahoo.com), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)


Statement by Mike Hunter of Kansas City, SNAP Leader, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (913 634 6490, mhunter_mp@sbcglobal.net)

This is not a lawsuit, this is a demand letter. We want the diocese to prove that they are honoring the commitments they have made to us about child safety.

If we do not get answers from the diocese, or if it is clear they are breaking their agreement with us, we will look at our legal options. However, the first step is getting more information. We hope Bishop Finn will respond quickly and honestly.

Our request for this information is reasonable because the evidence and allegations that have surfaced in recent months strongly suggest church officials have not changed and kids are still at risk here.

Our fight for the nineteen prevention steps we won from the diocese never should have happened. The 47 of us never should have been molested. We should not have had to prod Catholic officials to take simple actions to safeguard kids.

After we were abused and we won an agreement, we should not have had to fight to make sure that agreement is honored. However, the recent recklessness by Bishop Finn and his top staff gives us no other choice.

(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, peterisely@yahoo.com), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)


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