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SNAP
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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Victims blast priest's lawsuit against woman

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)

SNAP has confirmed that Fr. John Corapi is suing a woman who has quietly reported to his church supervisors that he sexually exploited and harassed her.

It's almost always wrong for a cleric to sue a congregant. It's especially wrong when a priest sues someone who is making sexual misconduct allegations against him.

And it's especially wrong in this case, because the victim quietly did what any caring person would do: report priestly misconduct to those who
--could and should protect others from him,
--have repeatedly promised to protect the vulnerable from predatory priests, and
--have promised to be "open and transparent" about clergy sexual misdeeds.

This woman didn't "go public." She didn't seek money. She didn't file a lawsuit. She didn't call journalists.

She simply wrote a letter to a few Catholic officials, reporting wrong doing to those who could have stopped the wrongdoing.

And then she got hit with a lawsuit by a man who allegedly represents Christ. The suit charges her with libel, even though Corapi himself is the one who made the accusations public.

We urge Catholic officials - at the Corpus Christi diocese, at SOLT (the Texas-based religious order where Corapi worked), and in every diocese where Corapi worked – to publicly denounce this mean-spirited and intimidating legal tactic.

We hope Corapi's hardball legal maneuver will backfire. Instead of intimidating victims, witnesses and whistleblowers into keeping quiet, we hope it will prompt others with information or suspicions about Corapi to step forward and speak up. That's the only way the truth will be exposed and the vulnerable will be protected.

Corapi is represented by attorneys Mikel L. Moore and Jay T. Johnson of Christensen, Moore, Cockrell, Cummings & Axelberg, PC in Kalispell, Montana (406-751-6000).

(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)

Charges (PDF)


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