Diocese of Helena Goes After Parents of Sex Abuse Victim in Public Spat
Catholic officials from the Diocese of Helena, Montana, have responded to an abuse lawsuit by trying to shift the focus onto the victims instead of the alleged abusers, using public statements to “out” the family filing the lawsuit. We call on Diocesan leaders to defend themselves in real court instead of trying to use the court of public opinion to shame and scare those who are bringing allegations forward.
The lawsuit involves the alleged abuse and grooming by a husband and wife duo from Butte Central High School, a Catholic school that falls under the purview of the Diocese of Helena. The couple was living on the campus. The wife was charged criminally in late December for allegedly providing alcohol and marijuana to two minors at Central last year. The husband, a teacher, is now on leave from the school.
It is disturbing to us that Catholic officials in Helena would rather attack claimants publicly instead of investigating and getting to the bottom of the allegations against Brad and Amy Kadrmas. We believe that by attempting to focus public attention on the plaintiffs, Diocesan leaders are trying to scare others who may have been hurt into staying silent.
Catholic officials in Helena should instead focus on the internal issues that have allowed this lawsuit to be filed in the first place. Rather than attempt to drive victims underground, Diocesan leaders should be pulling out all the stops to investigate these claims and bring others who were hurt forward. That they are instead choosing to fight the plaintiffs in the media is yet another example that Catholic officials care more about their money and reputations than they do the protection of children.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (517-974-9009, firstname.lastname@example.org)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)