MN- Catholic officials misinterpret 1st Amendment, SNAP says

For immediate release: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003,

It's sad to see Catholic officials exploiting and misrepresenting the First Amendment. It protects belief, not actions.

Minnesota church officials say they should get to continue keeping secrets about clergy sex crimes and cover ups because the First Amendment protects them. But we find it very hard to imagine that the Founding Fathers envisioned that provision would be used to shield powerful officials who repeatedly put kids in harms' way.

This isn't complicated. People can think anything they want. They can't, however, do anything they want. That's simple common sense. It's the basis of civilized society.

We hope the judge will reject Minnesota Catholic officials' argument that their callous actions and incriminating records about helping predators and endangering kids should be kept hidden.

(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 25 years and have more than 20,000 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

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell,, Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell,, Frank Meuers (952-334-5180,

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